How to Select an X-Ray Technician College near Smyrna Tennessee
Congrats regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Smyrna TN so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about picking the ideal college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you research each of the schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Smyrna TN clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and also frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Smyrna TN health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have received 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 prevalent among techs, normally requires 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 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that Smyrna TN radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Tennessee or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several provide other options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Smyrna TN employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often conducted in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Smyrna TN residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating Smyrna TN x-ray tech colleges. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship 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 must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still important to make sure that the program and school 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Smyrna TN employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the Tennessee xray tech colleges you are interested in have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Smyrna TN healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Smyrna TN healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Smyrna TN residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Smyrna TN colleges you are reviewing 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 an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Smyrna TN, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's important to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask radiographer prospects is "What compelled you to pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for being an X-Ray tech, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Best X-Ray Technician School near Smyrna TN
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray tech college is a crucial first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or drive 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 motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Smyrna TN.
Some Background on Smyrna Tennessee
Smyrna is a town in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Smyrna's population was 39,974 at the 2010 census and 43,063 in 2013. In 2007, U.S. News & World Report listed Smyrna as one of the best places in the United States to retire.
The town of Smyrna has its European-American roots in the early 19th century and began as an agrarian community. It was important during the Civil War because its railroad station lies between Nashville and Chattanooga. One of the major events of the war for the town involved the Confederate States hero Sam Davis, who, after being charged with spying, gave up his life instead of giving any information to the Union Army. He was captured November 20, 1863, and was hanged by Union forces on November 27 of that year. The Sam Davis Plantation, located on 160 acres (0.65 km2) of well-maintained farmland, is the town's most important historical site.
Smyrna was originally incorporated in 1869 but its charter was rescinded by the state several years later. In 1915, the town re-incorporated and adopted a commission-mayor form of government.
In 1941 during World War II, Sewart Air Force Base was established here and served as a B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 advanced training facility. During the 1950s and 1960s, the military personnel and dependents totaled more than 10,000 persons stationed at the base. The base was scheduled for closing in 1971. Most of the property was divided among the State of Tennessee, Rutherford County, and the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. On its portion, the state opened and operates a Tennessee Army National Guard base and the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center. Much of the additional land was developed as the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority in 1990.
During the 1970s, many new industries moved to the area. The city began a period of growth stimulated by production of such companies as Better Built Aluminum, Cumberland Swan (currently known as Vi-Jon, Inc.), and Square D building plants. In the early 1980s, planning began to build a Nissan Motors manufacturing plant and, in 1983, the first vehicle was produced. The Nissan plant now employs around 8,400 workers, has a production capacity of 640,000 vehicles annually, and covers an area of 5,200,000 sq ft (480,000 m2). In 2012, Smyrna began manufacturing Nissan's electric car, the Nissan Leaf.
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