How to Find a Radiology Technician College in Wyoming
Congrats on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school in Wyoming so you can become a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it’s essential that you research each of the colleges you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are other important qualifications also. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
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 identical primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Wyoming hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment plus regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Wyoming medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have earned 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 prevalent among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that Wyoming radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Wyoming or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number approve other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Wyoming employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Colleges
As a part of any degree program, Wyoming x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a large amount of the training will be completed 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 schools. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Wyoming residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just be sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
After you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing Wyoming x-ray technician schools. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still imperative to confirm 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous review of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Wyoming health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the Wyoming xray technician programs you are reviewing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Wyoming medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Wyoming healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Wyoming home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Wyoming colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Wyoming, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best X-Ray Technician School in Wyoming
Picking the appropriate radiology tech school is a critical first step toward launching a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed 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. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Wyoming.