How to Become a Radiology Technician near Woodbridge Virginia
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Woodbridge VA in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Description in Woodbridge VA
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, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Woodbridge VA hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and also routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees near Woodbridge VA
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have earned 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 typical among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete 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 extensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Woodbridge VA or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Virginia or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with 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 options for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Woodbridge area employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Woodbridge VA to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
As a part of any 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 programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often performed in Woodbridge VA hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Woodbridge residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just make certain that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
When you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Woodbridge VA. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby 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 an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Woodbridge VA health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the xray tech schools you are assessing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Woodbridge VA healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Woodbridge VA in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Virginia healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Woodbridge VA home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Woodbridge VA schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Woodbridge VA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering X-ray Tech School near Woodbridge VA?
If you are considering enrolling in a radiology tech school near Woodbridge VA, following is some interesting background information that may assist you in making your decision to live in that area.
Woodbridge is a census-designated place (CDP) in Prince William County, Virginia, United States, located 20 miles (32 km) south of Washington, D.C. Bounded by the Occoquan and Potomac rivers, Woodbridge Magisterial District had 54,275 residents at the 2010 census. The Woodbridge census-designated place comprises just one portion of the magisterial district and had a population of 4,055 in the 2010 census. The census-designated place consists solely of the section north of Occoquan Road and Dawson Beach Road, and east of Interstate 95.
Woodbridge offers a variety of amenities for residents and visitors, including the Potomac Mills shopping mall and the Stonebridge at Potomac Town Centre Shopping Centers. Woodbridge is served by the Prince William County Public Schools, and the Woodbridge campus of Northern Virginia Community College borders the district. Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, formerly Potomac Hospital, recently expanded and now has the capacity to serve 183 patients. Transportation includes access to Interstate 95, two VRE commuter train stations, bus service, and a local “slugging” system, offering residents a variety of transit options.
Woodbridge offers a wide range of recreational opportunities for resident and visitors. The Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a natural habitat for a variety of plant and animal life including the bald eagles and ospreys. Veteran’s Park and Leesylvania State Park are located on the Potomac River and provide swimming, boating, picnic and hiking services. Close-by is Rippon Lodge, the oldest house in Prince William County, which is open for tours throughout the summer. Trails at Leesylvania Park lead to the ancestral home of the Lee family.
Pick the Right X-Ray Tech College near Woodbridge VA
Picking the right radiology tech college is a critical first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently 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 an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Woodbridge VA.
More Magnificent Cities in Virginia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 221