How to Pick an Xray Technician Degree Program near Beardstown Illinois
Congrats regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Beardstown IL so you can train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the right college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you assess each of the colleges you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifications as well. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Career Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Beardstown IL hospitals, clinics, family 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 must care for their equipment and also frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Beardstown IL health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that Beardstown IL radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Illinois or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many provide additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous Beardstown IL employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance 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 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often performed in regional family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Beardstown IL home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make certain that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Colleges
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating Beardstown IL x-ray tech schools. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Beardstown IL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the Illinois radiology technician programs you are evaluating have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Beardstown IL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Beardstown IL healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Beardstown IL home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Beardstown IL schools you are considering 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 an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Beardstown IL, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Become a Radiology Technician?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask radiographer candidates is "What compelled you to pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a radiology technician, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must ready a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Considering 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, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Select the Ideal X-Ray Tech Program near Beardstown IL
Picking the best radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward launching a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed 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 must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Beardstown IL.
Some Background on Beardstown Illinois
Beardstown is a city in Cass County, Illinois, United States. The population was 6,123 at the 2010 census. The public schools are in Beardstown Community Unit School District 15.
Beardstown is located at 40°0′44″N 90°25′43″W / 40.01222°N 90.42861°W / 40.01222; -90.42861 (40.012189, -90.428711) on the Illinois River.
According to the 2010 census, Beardstown has a total area of 3.627 square miles (9.39 km2), of which 3.57 square miles (9.25 km2) (or 98.43%) is land and 0.057 square miles (0.15 km2) (or 1.57%) is water.
Beardstown is located on the Illinois River, which plays an important role in the economy and history of the community, and is the site of two grain terminals where farm products are transferred to barges for transport. Hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation along the river contribute to the local economy.
A large pork slaughterhouse, formerly owned by Kraft and Cargill now by JBS, is a major employer and has attracted a substantial immigrant population to Beardstown in recent years.
More Cities of Interest in Illinois