How to Pick a Radiology Tech Program near Hartford Connecticut
Congratulations on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Hartford CT in order to become a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the colleges you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Hartford CT hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with 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 plus frequently assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Hartford CT medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. 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 techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that Hartford CT radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Connecticut or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several accept additional options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous Hartford CT employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often conducted in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Hartford CT home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just be sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing Hartford CT x-ray tech colleges. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing 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 essential details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still important 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Hartford CT employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the Connecticut xray technician schools you are assessing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Hartford CT healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Hartford CT healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Hartford CT residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Hartford CT schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the x-ray tech school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Hartford CT, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Be an Xray Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask radiographer applicants is "What compelled you to select radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming an Xray technician, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Select the Best X-Ray Tech Program near Hartford CT
Choosing the appropriate x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are assessing before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Hartford CT.
Some Background on Hartford Connecticut
Hartford is the capital of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It was the seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960. As of the 2010 Census, Hartford's population was 124,775, making it Connecticut's third-largest city after the coastal cities of Bridgeport and New Haven. Census Bureau estimates since then have indicated Hartford's fall to fourth place statewide, as a result of sustained population growth in the coastal city of Stamford.
Hartford is nicknamed the "Insurance Capital of the World", as it hosts many insurance company headquarters and insurance is the region's major industry. The city was founded in 1635 and is among the oldest cities in the United States. It is home to the nation's oldest public art museum (Wadsworth Atheneum), the oldest publicly funded park (Bushnell Park), the oldest continuously published newspaper (The Hartford Courant), and the second-oldest secondary school (Hartford Public High School). It also is home to Trinity College, a private liberal arts college, and the Mark Twain House where the author wrote his most famous works and raised his family, among other historically significant attractions. Twain wrote in 1868, "Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see this is the chief."
Following the American Civil War, Hartford was the richest city in the United States for several decades. Today, Hartford is one of the poorest cities in the nation, with 3 out of every 10 families living below the poverty line. In sharp contrast, the Hartford metropolitan area is ranked 32nd of 318 metropolitan areas in total economic production and 7th out of 280 metropolitan statistical areas in per capita income. Highlighting the socio-economic disparity between Hartford and its suburbs, 83% of Hartford's jobs are filled by commuters from neighboring towns who earn over $80,000, while 75% of Hartford residents who commute to work in other towns earn just $40,000.
Various tribes lived in or around present-day Hartford, all part of the loose Algonquin confederation. The area was referred to as Suckiaug, meaning "Black Fertile River-Enhanced Earth, good for planting." These included the Podunks, mostly east of the Connecticut River; the Poquonocks north and west of Hartford; the Massacoes in the Simsbury area; the Tunxis tribe in West Hartford and Farmington; the Wangunks to the south; and the Saukiog in Hartford itself.
The first Europeans known to have explored the area were the Dutch under Adriaen Block, who sailed up the Connecticut in 1614. Dutch fur traders from New Amsterdam returned in 1623 with a mission to establish a trading post and fortify the area for the Dutch West India Company. The original site was located on the south bank of the Park River in the present-day Sheldon/Charter Oak neighborhood. This fort was called Fort Hoop or the "House of Hope." In 1633, Jacob Van Curler formally bought the land around Fort Hoop from the Pequot chief for a small sum. It was home to perhaps a couple families and a few dozen soldiers. The fort was abandoned by 1654, but the area is known today as Dutch Point; the name of the Dutch fort "House of Hope" is reflected in the name of Huyshope Avenue.
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