How to Become a Radiology Technician near Wausau Wisconsin
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Wausau WI so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the right school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are other important qualifications also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Job Description in Wausau WI
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Wausau WI hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 and routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options near Wausau WI
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received 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, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Wausau WI or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Wisconsin or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous Wausau area employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Wausau WI to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often performed in Wausau WI family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Wausau home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Wausau WI. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed review of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Wausau WI employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the xray technician programs you are assessing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Wausau WI health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Wausau WI in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Wisconsin healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Wausau WI residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously 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 bear in mind is that if you decide 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Wausau WI colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Wausau WI area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option 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 may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Considering X-ray Tech School near Wausau WI?
If you are considering enrolling in a radiology tech school near Wausau WI, following is some interesting background information that may assist you in making your decision to live in that area.
As of the 2010 census, Wausau had a population of 39,106. It is the core city of the Wausau Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes all of Marathon County and had a population of 134,063 at the 2010 census.
This area was occupied for thousands of years by succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples. The historic Ojibwe (also known in the United States as the Chippewa) occupied it in the period of European encounter. They had a lucrative fur trade for decades with French colonists and French Canadians. After the French and Indian War this trade was dominated by British-American trappers from the eastern seaboard.
The Wisconsin River first drew European-American settlers to the area during the mid-19th century as they migrated west into the Great Lakes region following construction of the Erie Canal in New York State. This provided a route for products from the region to the large New York and other eastern markets. The area had been called "Big Bull Flats" or "Big Bull Falls" by French explorers, who were the first Europeans here. They named it for the long rapids in the river, which created many bubbles, called bulle in French. By an 1836 treaty with the United States, the Ojibwe ceded much of their lands in the area to federal ownership. It was sold to non-Native peoples. Wausau, from Ojibwe “waasa” means "a faraway place" or "a place from which one can see far away" in the Ojibwe language.
Pick the Right X-Ray Technician College near Wausau WI
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician school is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in 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 choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Wausau WI.
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