How to Choose an X-Ray Technician Degree Program near Lake Charles Louisiana
Best wishes on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Lake Charles LA in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the right school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it’s imperative that you research each of the schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Lake Charles LA hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might 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 regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Lake Charles LA medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. One thing to consider is that Lake Charles LA radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Louisiana or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many approve other options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many Lake Charles LA employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
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 the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically carried out in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Lake Charles LA residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing Lake Charles LA x-ray technician schools. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Lake Charles LA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the Louisiana xray tech schools you are interested in have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Lake Charles LA health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Lake Charles LA healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Lake Charles LA residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Lake Charles LA colleges you are reviewing what the average 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Lake Charles LA, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become a Radiology Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask radiographer candidates is "What drove you to decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming an Xray technician, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Best X-Ray Technician School near Lake Charles LA
Choosing the ideal radiology tech school is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Lake Charles LA.
Some Background on Lake Charles Louisiana
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Lake Charles (French: Lac Charles) is the fifth-largest incorporated city in the U.S. state of Louisiana, located on Lake Charles, Prien Lake, and the Calcasieu River. Founded in 1861 in Calcasieu Parish, it is a major industrial, cultural, and educational center in the southwest region of the state.
As of the 2010 census, the population was 71,993. Lake Charles is the principal city of the Lake Charles Metropolitan Statistical Area, having a population of 202,040. It is the larger principal city of the Lake Charles-Jennings Combined Statistical Area, with a population of 225,235. The 2010 population of the five-parish area of Southwest Louisiana was 292,619.
It is considered a regionally significant center of petrochemical refining, gaming, tourism, and education, being home to McNeese State University and Sowela Technical Community College. Because of the lakes and waterways throughout the city, metropolitan Lake Charles is often referred to as the Lake Area.
On March 7, 1861, Lake Charles was officially incorporated as the town of Charleston, Louisiana. Lake Charles was originally founded by merchant and tradesmen Marco Eliche (or Marco de Élitxe) as an outpost - a Sephardic Jewish trader of either Basque-Spanish or Venetian-Italian origins. He had arrived to Louisiana after hitchhiking and was invited onto a Spanish vessel due to his determination and loyalty to volunteer and work freely for the Spanish Empire. Long before incorporation and even before the Louisiana Purchase, other names for Lake Charles were known as Porte du Lafitte (Port of Jean Lafitte) or Rivière Lafitte (River Lafitte/Lafitte's River); among many other names now lost. Eliche had also founded other outposts and towns in Louisiana prior; most notably (Marksville) - which is honorarily named after him. There are also urban tales he had planned to name the settlement Nouveau Cadix (New Cádiz)", after the city in Spain - but this is uncertain.
The town was later named Charleston in honor of French King Charlemagne, and for Louisiana's then-abundant Roman Catholic heritage. Six years after the town was incorporated, dissatisfaction over the name Charleston arose; on March 16, 1867, Charleston was renamed and incorporated as the City of Lake Charles. In 1910, a fire, known as the "Great Fire of 1910", devastated much of the city.
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