How to Choose an X-Ray Tech College near Eglin Afb Florida
Congratulations on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Eglin Afb FL so you can train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it’s essential that you research each of the colleges you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications as well. For instance, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the colleges you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Summary
There are several 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 identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Eglin Afb FL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with 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 frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Eglin Afb FL medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that Eglin Afb FL radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Florida or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
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 require licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several offer additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Eglin Afb FL employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically provided in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Eglin Afb FL home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less expensive than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of searching for and assessing Eglin Afb FL x-ray tech 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 critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still important to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded 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 detailed assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Eglin Afb FL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the Florida radiology tech schools you are evaluating have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Eglin Afb FL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Eglin Afb FL healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Eglin Afb FL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Eglin Afb FL colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the x-ray tech program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Eglin Afb FL, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask radiographer applicants is "What drove you to decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a radiology technician, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Ideal Radiology Technician School near Eglin Afb FL
Choosing the best x-ray tech school is a critical first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiographer in Eglin Afb FL.
Some Background on Eglin Afb Florida
Eglin Air Force Base
Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: VPS, ICAO: KVPS, FAA LID: VPS) is a United States Air Force base located approximately 3 miles (4.8 kilometres) southwest of Valparaiso, Florida in Okaloosa County.
The host unit at Eglin is the 96th Test Wing (formerly the 96th Air Base Wing). The 96 TW is the test and evaluation center for Air Force air-delivered weapons, navigation and guidance systems, Command and Control systems, and Air Force Special Operations Command systems.
Eglin AFB was established in 1935 as the Valparaiso Bombing and Gunnery Base. It is named in honor of Lieutenant Colonel Frederick I. Eglin (1891–1937), who was killed in a crash of his Northrop A-17 attack aircraft on a flight from Langley to Maxwell Field, Alabama.
Eglin is an Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) base serving as the focal point for all Air Force armaments. Eglin is responsible for the development, acquisition, testing, deployment and sustainment of all air-delivered non-nuclear weapons.
The base plans, directs and conducts test and evaluation of U.S. and allied air armament, navigation and guidance systems, and command and control systems.
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