How to Pick an Xray Technician College near Colby Kansas
Congrats on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Colby KS so you can train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the right college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you research each of the schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical major job function, which is to employ 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. Many elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Colby KS hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Colby KS health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The standard requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program 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 common among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to consider is that Colby KS radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Kansas or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number offer other options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous Colby KS employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Colby KS home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less costly than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing Colby KS x-ray technician schools. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still important to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations 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 a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Colby KS employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the Kansas radiology technician programs you are interested in have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Colby KS health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Colby KS healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Colby KS home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to 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 far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Colby KS schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the x-ray tech school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Colby KS, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Be an X-Ray Tech?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask radiographer candidates is "What compelled you to select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Ideal Radiology Tech School near Colby KS
Selecting the appropriate radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Colby KS.
Some Background on Colby Kansas
Colby is a city in and the county seat of Thomas County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 5,387.
In 1882, a post office was established near the center of Thomas County. Area homesteaders lived under harsh conditions in sod houses, creating demand for a town to provide lumber and other provisions to incoming settlers. J.R. Colby, a local land assessor and preacher, obtained a patent to establish the town in April 1884, and land was acquired for the town site three miles north of the post office in March 1885. The following month, the Kansas Secretary of State issued the Town Charter. Kansas Gov. John Martin named Colby the county seat in 1885, and the city was incorporated in 1886. The Union Pacific Railroad reached the city in 1887, and the Rock Island Railroad followed the next year.
In 1941 the St. Thomas Hospital was built as part of the Works Progress Administration plan to build hospitals. This was one of 130 new hospitals to be built with these funds, it was one of two built in Kansas alone. Within the last couple of years, it was renovated to apartments under the name St. Thomas Historic Residences. 
Interstate 70 reached Colby in 1965, stimulating the growth of a local hospitality industry.
Colby is located at 39°23′32″N 101°02′51″W / 39.392093°N 101.047532°W / 39.392093; -101.047532 (39.392093, -101.047532) at an elevation of 3,159 feet (963 m). It lies on the south side of Prairie Dog Creek, a tributary of the Republican River, in the High Plains region of the Great Plains. A small tributary of the creek flows northeast through the town. Located at the interchange of Interstate 70 and K-25 in northwestern Kansas, Colby is 212 mi (341 km) east-southeast of Denver, 232 mi (373 km) northwest of Wichita, and 347 mi (558 km) west of Kansas City.
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