How to Pick an Xray Technician School near Exira Iowa
Congrats on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Exira IA in order to become a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the right school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you research each of the colleges you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications as well. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Exira IA clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize 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 evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Exira IA medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that Exira IA radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by participating in an externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Iowa or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number offer additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many Exira IA employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in local 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 Exira IA residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are generally cheaper than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing Exira IA x-ray technician schools. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray technician schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still important to confirm 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Exira IA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the Iowa xray tech schools you are reviewing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Exira IA health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Exira IA healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Exira IA residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even 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 commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Exira IA colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Exira IA, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become an X-Ray Tech?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask radiographer applicants is "What compelled you to select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming an Xray technician, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you have 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 several ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Select the Best X-Ray Technician School near Exira IA
Enrolling in the right radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Exira IA.
Some Background on Exira Iowa
Exira is a city in Audubon County, Iowa, United States, along the East Nishnabotna River and U.S. Route 71. The population was 840 at the 2010 census.
The oldest town in Audubon County, Exira was founded in 1857. The town was named for Exira Eckman, daughter of Judge John Eckman from Ohio, who agreed to purchase a lot of property in the town if the town was named for his daughter.
The main industries in and around Exira are agriculture and agribusiness. Exira has a school, completed in 1959. There are four churches in the town.
On July 2, 1958, Exira was ravaged by the flooding of the East Nishnabotna River. Nineteen persons in the area lost their lives, 75 homes were destroyed and almost 20 businesses in the western part of Exira were damaged.
Exira is well known for its Fourth of July celebrations, which have been celebrated since 1861. The morning parade and the evening fireworks draw thousands of visitors to the town. Other attractions in the area include the Plow in the Oak Park, south of Exira on Highway 71, and Littlefield Recreation Area, 6 miles (9.7 km) southeast of Exira, which features a 70-acre (280,000 m2) lake, prairie restoration area and a live bison pair.
More Cities of Interest in Iowa