How to Choose an X-Ray Technician Degree Program near Waltham Massachusetts
Congratulations regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Waltham MA in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s essential that you research each of the colleges you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifications also. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the colleges you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Waltham MA clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may work with 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 and also routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are also required to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Waltham MA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that Waltham MA radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Massachusetts or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements 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 accept additional options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many Waltham MA employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
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 schools. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually carried out in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your Waltham MA home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just make sure that the online college 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 an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
After you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing Waltham MA x-ray technician colleges. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 gone through a detailed evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Waltham MA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the Massachusetts radiology technician schools you are reviewing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Waltham MA health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Waltham MA healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Waltham MA home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally 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 way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Waltham MA colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the x-ray tech program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Waltham MA, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Become an Xray Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask radiographer prospects is "What drove you to choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for being an X-Ray tech, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Select the Right X-Ray Technician School near Waltham MA
Picking the ideal radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Waltham MA.
Some Background on Waltham Massachusetts
Waltham (/ˈwɔːlθæm/) is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, and was an early center for the labor movement as well as a major contributor to the American Industrial Revolution. The original home of the Boston Manufacturing Company, the city was a prototype for 19th century industrial city planning, spawning what became known as the Waltham-Lowell system of labor and production. The city is now a center for research and higher education, home to Brandeis University and Bentley University. The population was 60,636 at the census in 2010.
Waltham is commonly referred to as Watch City because of its association with the watch industry. Waltham Watch Company opened its factory in Waltham in 1854 and was the first company to make watches on an assembly line. It won the gold medal in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. The company produced over 35 million watches, clocks and instruments before it closed in 1957.
The name of the city is pronounced with the primary stress on the first syllable and a full vowel in the second syllable, /ˈwɔːlθæm/ WAWL-tham, though the name of the Waltham watch was pronounced with a reduced schwa in the second syllable: /ˈwɔːlθəm/. As most would pronounce in the British way, "Walthum", when people came to work in the mills from Nova Scotia, the pronunciation evolved. The "local" version became a phonetic sounding to accommodate French speakers who could not pronounce in the British way.
Waltham was first settled in 1634 as part of Watertown and was officially incorporated as a separate town in 1738. Waltham had no recognizable town center until the 1830s, when the nearby Boston Manufacturing Company gave the town the land that now serves as its central square.
In the early 19th century, Francis Cabot Lowell and his friends and colleagues established in Waltham the Boston Manufacturing Company – the first integrated textile mill in the United States, with the goal of eliminating the problems of co-ordination, quality control, and shipping inherent in the subcontracting based textile industry. The Waltham–Lowell system of production derives its name from the city and the founder of the mill.
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