How to Find a Radiologic Tech Degree Program near Council Bluffs Iowa
Congrats on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Council Bluffs IA in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake picking the right college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it’s essential that you research each of the colleges you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Council Bluffs IA hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Council Bluffs IA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have attained 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 common among techs, usually requires 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 comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. Something to consider is that Council Bluffs IA radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Iowa or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several accept additional options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many Council Bluffs IA employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually provided in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Council Bluffs IA home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just confirm that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing Council Bluffs IA x-ray tech schools. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have obtained 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 respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 quality education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Council Bluffs IA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the Iowa xray tech programs you are interested in have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Council Bluffs IA health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Council Bluffs IA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Council Bluffs IA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Council Bluffs IA schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Council Bluffs IA, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Radiology Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask radiographer candidates is "What compelled you to decide on radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a radiology technician, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal X-Ray Technician Program near Council Bluffs IA
Selecting the best radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Council Bluffs IA.
Some Background on Council Bluffs Iowa
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Council Bluffs is a city in and the county seat of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, United States. The city is the most populous Omaha suburb and a principal city in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area. It is located on the east bank of the Missouri River, across from Omaha, Nebraska. Council Bluffs was known, until at least 1853, as Kanesville. It was the historic starting point of the Mormon Trail. Kanesville is also the northernmost anchor town of the other emigrant trails, since there was a steam powered boat to ferry their wagons, and cattle, across the Missouri River.
Council Bluffs' population was 62,230 at the 2010 census. Along with neighboring Omaha to the west, Council Bluffs was part of the 60th-largest metropolitan area in the United States in 2010, which had an estimated population of 865,350 residing in the eight counties of the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area.
Council Bluffs is more than a decade older than Omaha. The latter, founded in 1854 by Council Bluffs businessmen and speculators following the Kansas-Nebraska Act, has grown to be a significantly larger city.
The first Council Bluff name (singular) was actually on the Nebraska side of the river at Fort Atkinson (Nebraska) about 20 miles northwest of the current Council Bluffs. It was named by Lewis and Clark for a bluff where they met with the Otoe tribe on August 2, 1804.
The Iowa side became an Indian Reservation for members of the Council of Three Fires of Chippewa, Ottawa and Potawatomi who were forced to vacate the Chicago area in the Treaty of Chicago in 1833/1835 clearing the way for that city to incorporate.
More Cities of Interest in Iowa