How to Select a Radiologic Tech Program near Tarpon Springs Florida
Congratulations on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Tarpon Springs FL in order to train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you research each of the colleges you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifications also. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the colleges you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same 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 may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Tarpon Springs FL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 care for their equipment and routinely assess its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Tarpon Springs FL health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that Tarpon Springs FL radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Florida or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Tarpon Springs FL employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve 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 two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often provided in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Tarpon Springs FL residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just confirm that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating Tarpon Springs FL x-ray tech colleges. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among 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 an extensive assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Tarpon Springs FL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the Florida xray technician colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Tarpon Springs FL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Tarpon Springs FL healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Tarpon Springs FL home. Individuals who have opted 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 importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Tarpon Springs FL colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the x-ray tech college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Tarpon Springs FL, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be an X-Ray Tech?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask radiographer prospects is "What made you pick radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming an Xray technician, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Radiology Tech Program near Tarpon Springs FL
Picking the ideal x-ray technician school is a crucial first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the proper education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Tarpon Springs FL.
Some Background on Tarpon Springs Florida
Tarpon Springs, Florida
Tarpon Springs is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. The population was 23,484 at the 2010 census. Tarpon Springs has the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any city in the US. Downtown Tarpon has long been a focal point and is currently undergoing beautification.
The region, with a series of bayous feeding into the Gulf of Mexico, was first settled by white and black farmers and fishermen around 1876. Some of the newly arrived visitors spotted tarpon jumping out of the waters and so named the location Tarpon Springs. In 1882, Hamilton Disston, who in the previous year had purchased the land where the city of Tarpon Springs now stands, ordered the creation of a town plan for the future city. On February 12, 1887, Tarpon Springs became the first incorporated city in what is now Pinellas County. Less than a year later on January 13, 1888, the Orange Belt Railway, the first railroad line to be built in what is now Pinellas County, arrived in the city. During this time the area was developed as a wintering spot for wealthy northerners.
In the 1880s, John Cheyney founded the first local sponge business. The industry continued to grow in the 1890s. Many blacks and whites from Key West and the Bahamas settled in Tarpon Springs to hook sponges and then process them. A few Greek immigrants also arrived in this city during the 1890s to work in the sponge industry.
In 1905, John Cocoris introduced the technique of sponge diving to Tarpon Springs by recruiting divers and crew members from Greece. The first divers came from the Saronic Gulf islands of Aegina and Hydra, but they were soon outnumbered by those from the Dodecanese islands of Kalymnos, Symi and Halki. The sponge industry soon became one of the leading maritime industries in Florida and the most important business in Tarpon Springs, generating millions of dollars a year. The 1953 film Beneath the 12-Mile Reef, depicting the sponge industry, takes place and was filmed in Tarpon Springs.
In 1947, a red tide algae bloom wiped out the sponge fields in the Gulf of Mexico, causing many of the sponge boats and divers to switch to fishing shrimping for their livelihood, while others left the business. Eventually, the sponges recovered, allowing for a smaller but consistent sponge industry today. In the 1980s, the sponge business experienced a boom due to a sponge disease that killed the Mediterranean sponges. Today there is still a small active sponge industry. Visitors can often view sponge fishermen working at the Sponge Docks on Dodecanese Boulevard. In addition, visitors can enjoy shops, restaurants, and museum exhibits that detail Tarpon Springs' Greek heritage.
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