How to Find a Radiologic Technician Program near Tampa Florida
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Tampa FL so you can train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the right college and program to ensure that you will get 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 subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you investigate each of the colleges you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the colleges you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Tampa FL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 and also regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Tampa FL medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that Tampa FL radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Florida or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number offer other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Tampa FL employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often conducted in regional family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Tampa FL home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just be sure that the online program you pick 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 school may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Colleges
When you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing Tampa FL x-ray technician schools. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important 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 Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Tampa FL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the Florida xray tech schools you are evaluating have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Tampa FL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Tampa FL healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Tampa FL home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program 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 frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Tampa FL schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Tampa FL, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Be a Radiology Technician?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask radiographer applicants 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 Xray technician, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal X-Ray Technician School near Tampa FL
Enrolling in the right radiology technician school is a critical first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Tampa FL.
Some Background on Tampa Florida
Tampa (/ˈtæmpə/) is a major city in, and the county seat of, Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico, and is the largest city in the Tampa Bay Area. The city had a population of 335,709 at the 2010 census, and an estimated population of 377,165 in 2016.
Archaeological evidence indicates the shores of Tampa Bay were inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. The Safety Harbor culture developed in the area around the year 1000 AD, and the descendant Tocobaga and Pohoy chiefdoms were living in or near the current city limits of Tampa when the area was first visited by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Interactions between native peoples and the Spanish were brief and often violent, and although the newcomers did not stay for long, they introduced European diseases which brought the collapse of native societies across the Florida peninsula over the ensuing decades. Although Spain claimed all of Florida and beyond as part of New Spain, it did not found a colony on the west coast. After the disappearance of the indigenous populations, there were no permanent settlements in the Tampa Bay area until after the United States acquired Florida from Spain in 1821.
In 1824, the United States Army established a frontier outpost called Fort Brooke at the mouth of the Hillsborough River, near the site of today's Tampa Convention Center downtown. The first civilian residents were pioneer ranchers and farmers who settled near the fort for protection from the nearby Seminole population.
The town grew slowly, and had become a minor shipping port for cattle and citrus by the time of the United States Civil War. Tampa Bay was blockaded by the United States Navy during the war, and Tampa fell into a long period of economic stagnation that continued long after the war ended.
The situation finally improved in the 1880s, when the first railroad links, the discovery of phosphate, and the arrival of the cigar industry jump-started its development, helping Tampa to grow from an isolated village with less than 800 residents in 1880 to a bustling city of over 30,000 by the early 1900s.
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