How to Become a Radiology Technician near Waterford Connecticut
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Waterford CT in order to become a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are additional important qualifiers also. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Description in Waterford CT
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Waterford CT clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and also frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees near Waterford CT
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils 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 takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Waterford CT or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Connecticut or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure 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 process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Waterford area employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Waterford CT to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Waterford CT family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Waterford residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally cheaper than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
When you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Waterford CT. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations 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 an extensive evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Waterford CT health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech schools you are evaluating have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Waterford CT medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Waterford CT in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Connecticut healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Waterford CT home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Waterford CT schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Waterford CT area, verify 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 may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Considering X-ray Tech School near Waterford CT?
If you are considering enrolling in a radiology tech school near Waterford CT, following is some interesting background information that may assist you in making your decision to live in that area.
Waterford is a town in New London County, Connecticut, United States. It is named after Waterford, Ireland. The population was 19,517 at the 2010 census.  The town center is listed as a census-designated place (CDP) and had a population of 2,887 at the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 44.6 square miles (115.4 km2), of which 32.8 square miles (84.9 km2) is land and 11.8 square miles (30.5 km2), or 26.43%, is water. The town center CDP has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), all land. Waterford is bordered on the west by the Niantic River.
Other minor communities and geographic features are Dufree Hill, East Neck, Fog Plain, Gilead, Goshen, Great Neck, Harrisons, Lake's Pond, Logger Hill, Mago Point, Magonk, Mullen Hill, Oswegatchie, Pepperbox Road, Pleasure Beach, Ridgewood Park, Riverside Beach, Spithead, Strand, West Neck.
Select the Ideal Radiology Tech School near Waterford CT
Selecting the best x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are considering before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Waterford CT.
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