How to Select an X-Ray Technician School near Springfield Massachusetts
Best wishes on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Springfield MA in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you tackle choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you research each of the colleges you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are other important qualifications also. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Springfield MA hospitals, clinics, private 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 have to take care of their equipment plus regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Springfield MA medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to consider is that Springfield MA radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Massachusetts or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many offer additional options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many Springfield MA employers would rather 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 accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often carried out in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Springfield MA home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally less costly than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online school you enroll in 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 school may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Programs
After you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating Springfield MA x-ray technician schools. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still crucial to confirm that the school and program 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). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Springfield MA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the Massachusetts radiology technician schools you are assessing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Springfield MA healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Springfield MA healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Springfield MA home. Those who have decided 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Springfield MA schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on 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 x-ray technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Springfield MA, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Become an X-Ray Tech?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask radiographer applicants is "What drove you to pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate 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 enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Right Radiology Technician College near Springfield MA
Picking the best x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Springfield MA.
Some Background on Springfield Massachusetts
Springfield is a city in western New England, and the seat of Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River near its confluence with three rivers: the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, and the eastern Mill River. As of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 153,060.Metropolitan Springfield, as one of two metropolitan areas in Massachusetts (the other being Greater Boston), had a population of 692,942 as of 2010.
The first Springfield in the New World, it is the largest city in western New England, and the urban, economic, and cultural capital of Massachusetts' Connecticut River Valley (colloquially known as the Pioneer Valley). It is the third-largest city in Massachusetts and fourth-largest in New England after Boston, Worcester, and Providence. Springfield has several nicknames – "The City of Firsts", because of its many innovations (see below for a partial list); "The City of Homes", due to its Victorian residential architecture; and "Hoop City", as basketball – one of the world's most popular sports – was invented in Springfield by James Naismith.
Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, lies 24 miles (39 km) south of Springfield, on the western bank of the Connecticut River. Bradley International Airport, which sits 12 miles (19 km) south of Metro Center Springfield, is Hartford-Springfield's airport. The Hartford-Springfield region is known as the Knowledge Corridor because it hosts over 160,000 university students and over 32 universities and liberal arts colleges – the second-highest concentration of higher-learning institutions in the United States. The city of Springfield itself is home to Springfield College, Western New England University, American International College, and Springfield Technical Community College, among other higher educational institutions.
Springfield was founded in 1636 by English Puritan William Pynchon as "Agawam Plantation" under the administration of the Connecticut Colony. In 1641 it was renamed after Pynchon's hometown of Springfield, Essex, England, following incidents that precipitated the settlement joining the Massachusetts Bay Colony. During its early existence, Springfield flourished as both an agricultural settlement and trading post, although its prosperity waned dramatically during (and after) King Philip's War in 1675, when natives laid siege to it and burned it to the ground.
The original settlement – today's downtown Springfield – was located atop bluffs at the confluence of four rivers, at the nexus of trade routes to Boston, Albany, New York City, and Montreal, and with some of the northeastern United States' most fertile soil. In 1777, Springfield's location at numerous crossroads led George Washington and Henry Knox to establish the United States' National Armory at Springfield, which produced the first American musket in 1794, and later the famous Springfield rifle. From 1777 until its closing during the Vietnam War, the Springfield Armory attracted skilled laborers to Springfield, making it the United States' longtime center for precision manufacturing. The near-capture of the armory during Shays' Rebellion of 1787 led directly to the formation of the U.S. Constitutional Convention.
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