How to Pick an Xray Tech Degree Program near Alamosa Colorado
Best wishes on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Alamosa CO so you can train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you research each of the colleges you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications also. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Job Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Alamosa CO clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and also routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Alamosa CO health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that Alamosa CO radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Colorado or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve additional options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Alamosa CO employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Alamosa CO home. 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 schools are often cheaper than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
When you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating Alamosa CO x-ray tech schools. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still crucial to confirm 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Alamosa CO health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the Colorado radiology technician schools you are evaluating have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Alamosa CO health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alamosa CO healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Alamosa CO home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Alamosa CO colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the x-ray tech college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Alamosa CO, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become an Xray Technician?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask radiographer candidates is "What made you choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Right Radiology Technician College near Alamosa CO
Enrolling in the appropriate x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Alamosa CO.
Some Background on Alamosa Colorado
Alamosa is a city under Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Alamosa County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 8,780 at the 2010 United States Census. The city is the commercial center of the San Luis Valley in south-central Colorado, and is the home of Adams State University.
Alamosa was established in May 1878 by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad and quickly became an important rail center. The railroad had an extensive construction, repair and shipping facility in Alamosa for many years and headquartered its remaining narrow gauge service here with trackage reaching many points throughout southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico. Alamosa is now a notable tourist town with many nearby attractions, including the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and Colorado Gators Reptile Park. The town hosts "Summer Fest on the Rio" which occurs the first weekend in June, the Early Iron car show over the Labor Day weekend, and "Weekends on the Rio" on various Sundays throughout the summer The city takes its name from the Spanish adjective Alamosa, meaning "of cottonwood", for the cottonwood forests which grow along the Rio Grande and throughout town.
Alamosa is located at 37°28′N 105°52′W / 37.467°N 105.867°W / 37.467; -105.867 (37.469, −105.874), at the junction of U.S. Routes 160 and 285. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.5 square miles (14.3 km2), of which 5.4 square miles (14.0 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 2.26%, is water.
Alamosa is located along the Rio Grande in the San Luis Valley, in the highest general agricultural land in the United States. The San Luis Valley is the largest intermountain valley in the world, where local farmers specialize in growing cool weather crops. Elevation is about 7,500 feet (2,300 m) in Alamosa with peaks over 14,000 feet (4,300 m) within 23 miles (37 km) of town in the Sangre de Cristo Range.
Alamosa features a cold desert climate (Köppen BWk) with long, cold winters and warm summers, and dry weather year-round. Normals range from a low of −4 °F (−20 °C) in January to a high of 82 °F (28 °C) in July. Annual precipitation is only 7.25 inches (184 mm), with summer being the wettest. The aridity depresses mean snowfall to around 32 inches (81 cm), and the median to only 22.3 inches (57 cm).
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