How to Select an X-Ray Tech Degree Program near Washington District of Columbia
Best wishes on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Washington DC so you can become a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you research each of the schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. A number of students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Washington DC clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might 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 assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Washington DC health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The standard requirement for attending a radiology 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 typical among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that Washington DC radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in District of Columbia or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve additional options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous Washington DC employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually carried out in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Washington DC home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just make sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating Washington DC x-ray technician schools. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to verify 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance 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 many Washington DC employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the District of Columbia radiology technician colleges you are assessing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Washington DC healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Washington DC healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Washington DC home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps 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 frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Washington DC colleges you are researching 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 final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several 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 radiographer program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Washington DC, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Become a Radiologic Technologist?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask radiographer candidates is "What made you select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Select the Right Radiology Technician School near Washington DC
Picking the best radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Washington DC.
Some Background on Washington District of Columbia
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as "Washington", "the District", or simply "D.C.", is the capital of the United States.
The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and the District is therefore not a part of any state. The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria. Named in honor of President George Washington, the City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia; in 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the District.
Washington had an estimated population of 681,170 as of July 2016. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's population to more than one million during the workweek. The Washington metropolitan area, of which the District is the principal city, has a population of over 6 million, the sixth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the country.
All three branches of the federal government of the United States are centered in the District - the Congress, President, and Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments and museums, which are primarily situated on or around the National Mall. The city hosts 176 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit organizations, lobbying groups, and professional associations.
A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973. However, the Congress maintains supreme authority over the city and may overturn local laws. D.C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, but the District has no representation in the Senate. The District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961.
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