How to Choose a Radiologic Tech Program near Stow Massachusetts
Congrats on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Stow MA in order to train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s essential that you assess each of the schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Stow MA clinics, hospitals, private 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 also routinely assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Stow MA medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
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 or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. Something to consider is that Stow MA radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Massachusetts or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many approve other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many Stow MA employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase 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 demands re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically provided in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Stow MA residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits 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 choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
After you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing Stow MA x-ray tech colleges. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing 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 crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still important to verify 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online 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 quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Stow MA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the Massachusetts xray tech schools you are reviewing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Stow MA healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Stow MA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Stow MA home. Students who have decided 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 concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Stow MA schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Stow MA, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn 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 a Radiology Technician?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask radiographer applicants is "What made you pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a radiology technician, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare several strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Right Radiology Technician College near Stow MA
Selecting the right x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are considering before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right education and your dedication to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Stow MA.
Some Background on Stow Massachusetts
Stow is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The town is located 21 miles west of Boston, in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts. The population was 6,590 at the 2010 census.
Stow was officially incorporated in 1683. The earliest Colonial settlers, c. 1660, were Matthew Boon and John Kettell. Coming from Gloucester and Charlestown, Massachusetts, these two men settled the land of the Tantamous (Jethro) Native Americans, called "Pompocitticut". Boon settled by a large body of water (later bearing his name: Lake Boon), upon a hill (also bearing his name: Boon Hill), with a vast tract of land surrounding him. It is said that he traded all this for a single jackknife. He lived on what is now known as Barton Road. A monument bearing his name is located on the plot of land he formerly resided on.
John Kettell took up residence in a portion of land in the southwestern corner of Stow, where the flatness helped with farming and its proximity to the Lancaster Garrison House (in present-day Bolton, owned by Reverend Joseph Rowlandson) house proved vital in later years. John, who brought his wife, Elizabeth Allen of Salem, Massachusetts, and three children: Elizabeth, Mary, Samuel, and James (the only one born in Stow in 1665), proceeded to trade with the natives and farm the land, though very little is known for fact.
Both families were involved in King Philip's War in 1676. Boon sent his family to the Sudbury Garrison House, then proceeded to return home with one of his sons and a neighbor. All three were killed. Little, if anything, is known about the remaining Boon family, but they did survive the initial attack.
John Kettell sent his family to the Lancaster Garrison, which was also attacked and burned. The natives took twenty captives, including Mary Rowlandson (a well-known captive, the wife of Rev. Rowlandson who wrote narratives of her captivity), Mrs. Rowlandson’s sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Kettell (John Kettell's wife), and some children. All twenty were ransomed by John Hoar of Concord for £20 after several months of the native life style. The Kettell family, once reunited, moved back to Salem, Massachusetts after selling their farm.
More Cities of Interest in Massachusetts