How to Choose an Xray Tech Degree Program near Stafford Connecticut
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Stafford CT so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you assess each of the colleges you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the colleges you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Stafford CT clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment and regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Stafford CT health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that Stafford CT radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Connecticut or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous Stafford CT employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically carried out in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Stafford CT home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Schools
When you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating Stafford CT x-ray tech schools. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous review of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Stafford CT health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the Connecticut xray technician programs you are evaluating have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Stafford CT healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Stafford CT healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Stafford CT residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Stafford CT colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Stafford CT, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask radiographer applicants is "What compelled you to pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a radiology technician, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Pick the Right X-Ray Tech School near Stafford CT
Enrolling in the appropriate x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Stafford CT.
Some Background on Stafford Connecticut
Stafford is a town in Tolland County, Connecticut, United States, settled in 1719. The population was 12,192 at the 2010 census. The community consists of the downtown area of Stafford Springs and the more rural villages of Crystal Lake, Ellithorpe, Hydeville, Orcuttsville, Staffordville, Stafford Hollow, Village Hill, and West Stafford.
The Colonial Town of Stafford began as a rural agricultural community in the eastern part of Hartford County. It became part of Tolland County upon the latter's formation on 13 October 1785. The easy availability of water power from the tributaries of the Willimantic River led to industrialization, and this abundance of power helped generate local population growth. By the mid-19th century, Stafford was connected by railroad to markets across New England, and before the State Highway projects of the 1920s and 1930s, the town had a trolley connection to Rockville, CT.
During the Civil War, factories in Stafford made cannonballs and other war supplies for the northern forces.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 58.8 sq mi (152.2 km2), of which, 58.0 sq mi (150.1 km2) of it is land and 0.81 sq mi (2.1 km2) of it (1.38%) is water; it is the 3rd largest town in Connecticut based on area.
Stafford Springs is located at the intersection of Routes 190 and 32, in the northeastern region of the state. The community consists of the downtown area of Stafford Springs and the more rural villages of Crystal Lake, Ellithorpe, Hydeville, Orcuttsville, Staffordville, Stafford Hollow, Village Hill, and West Stafford.
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