How to Pick an X-Ray Technician Program near Bristol Connecticut
Best wishes regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Bristol CT in order to train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you tackle picking the ideal college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you research each of the schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are additional critical qualifications also. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Bristol CT 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 routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Bristol CT health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. 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 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that Bristol CT radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Connecticut or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many Bristol CT employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often carried out in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Bristol CT home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less costly than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating Bristol CT x-ray tech schools. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still crucial to make sure 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 gone through a rigorous examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Bristol CT employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the Connecticut xray tech schools you are assessing have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Bristol CT medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Bristol CT healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Bristol CT residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person 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 enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Bristol CT schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Bristol CT, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become an Xray Technician?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask radiographer applicants is "What drove you to select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal X-Ray Tech School near Bristol CT
Enrolling in the appropriate x-ray technician school is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. 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 discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine 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 achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Bristol CT.
Some Background on Bristol Connecticut
Bristol is a suburban city located in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States, 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Hartford. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 60,477. Bristol is best known as the home of ESPN, whose central studios are in the city. Bristol is also home to Lake Compounce, America's oldest continuously operating theme park. Bristol was known as a clock-making city in the 19th century, and is home to the American Clock & Watch Museum. Bristol's nicknames include the "Bell City", because of a history manufacturing innovative spring-driven doorbells, and the "Mum City", because it was once a leader in chrysanthemum production and still holds an annual Bristol Mum Festival. In 2010, Bristol was ranked 84th on Money Magazine's "Best Places to Live". In 2013, Hartford Magazine ranked Bristol as Greater Hartford's top municipality in the "Best Bang for the Buck" category.
Bristol is about 20 miles west of Hartford, 120 miles southwest from Boston, and approximately 100 miles northeast of New York City.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.8 square miles (69.5 km2), of which 26.4 square miles (68.4 km2) is land and 0.39 square miles (1.0 km2), or 1.51%, is water. The city contains several distinct sections, including Chippens Hill in the northwestern quarter of Bristol, Edgewood in the northeastern quarter, and Forestville, and in the southeastern quarter. The majority of Bristol's area is residential in character, though since 2008 there has been a push for commercial development in the city. The city is part of the Naugatuck Valley Regional Planning Organization following the closure of the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency, the metropolitan planning organization for Bristol, New Britain, and surrounding towns for decades.
Forestville was the hunting grounds of the Tunxis tribe until the 19th century. The village was established in 1833 and named Forestville for its wooded surroundings. Forestville today has grown into a mini-metropolis of suburban neighborhoods and local businesses. The boundaries of Forestville go from the Plainville town line, south to the Southington town line, west up to the industrial development along Middle street and crosses King Street, including properties on Kingswood Drive and Bernside Drive, north up to Bristol Eastern High School, then north up to the south edge of properties on Louisiana Avenue, then to the west of properties on the west side of Brook Street and from there, goes up to commercial development along Farmington Avenue. Within the Forestville area, there are two subsections known as East Bristol and the Stafford District. Forestville village has a library (Manross), post office, meeting hall, community group (Forestville Village Association), fire station, cemetery, funeral home, two urban parks (Quinlan Veterans Park and Clock Tower Park), Pequabuck Duck Race, Memorial Day Parade, Summer Concert Night, Pumpkin Festival, and a railroad station (no longer in use). At one time all of Forestville had its own zip code.
As of the 2010 census, there were 60,477 people, 25,189 households, and 16,175 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,265.8 inhabitants per square mile (874.8/km²). There were 26,125 housing units at an average density of 985.6 per square mile (380.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 87.74% White, 3.84% African American, 9.64% Hispanic, 0.19% Native American, 1.94% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.72% from other races, and 2.54% from two or more races.
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