How to Find an Xray Technician College in Iowa
Congratulations regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school in Iowa so you can learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about picking the right college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you research each of the colleges you are considering in order to compare each program. Most potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are other critical qualifications as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Iowa hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment plus frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Iowa medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that Iowa radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Iowa or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several approve other alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many Iowa employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a part of every degree program, Iowa x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually performed in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Iowa home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often more affordable than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of finding and assessing Iowa x-ray technician schools. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Iowa health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the Iowa xray technician programs you are reviewing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Iowa medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Iowa healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Iowa home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Iowa colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Iowa, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right X-Ray Technician College in Iowa
Selecting the ideal radiology technician school is an important first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Iowa.