How to Choose a Radiology Technician Program near Storm Lake Iowa
Best wishes regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Storm Lake IA so you can become a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s imperative that you investigate each of the colleges you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Storm Lake IA clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with 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 regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Storm Lake IA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as four 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 appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that Storm Lake IA radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Iowa or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Storm Lake IA employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your Storm Lake IA residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online program you choose 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 online classes may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Colleges
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing Storm Lake IA x-ray tech schools. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to verify 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 undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Storm Lake IA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the Iowa radiology technician programs you are evaluating have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Storm Lake IA health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Storm Lake IA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Storm Lake IA home. Those 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Storm Lake IA colleges you are reviewing 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the x-ray tech program you ultimately select can offer 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 Storm Lake IA, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Choose to Be an Xray Technician?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask radiographer applicants is "What compelled you to pick radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being an Xray technician, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize several approaches about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Select the Ideal X-Ray Technician School near Storm Lake IA
Choosing the appropriate x-ray tech school is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Storm Lake IA.
Some Background on Storm Lake Iowa
Buena Vista County, Iowa
Buena Vista County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 20,260. Its county seat is Storm Lake. The county is named for the final victory field of General Zachary Taylor in the Mexican-American War.
Buena Vista County comprises the Storm Lake, IA Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Buena Vista County was formed on January 15, 1851, from open land. It was named in memory of the Battle of Buena Vista in the Mexican-American War ending in 1848; the victorious United States annexed considerable territory as a result.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 580 square miles (1,500 km2), of which 575 square miles (1,490 km2) is land and 5.3 square miles (14 km2) (0.9%) is water.
The 2010 census recorded a population of 20,260 in the county, with a population density of 35.48/sq mi (13.700/km2). There were 8,237 housing units, of which 7,522 were occupied.
More Cities of Interest in Iowa