How to Choose the Right X-Ray Tech Degree Program near New Martinsville West Virginia
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near New Martinsville WV so you can learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the right college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it’s imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are other critical qualifications as well. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Summary in New Martinsville WV
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have 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 the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may practice in New Martinsville WV clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize 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 plus frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees near New Martinsville WV
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school 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, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in New Martinsville WV or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in West Virginia or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several offer other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many New Martinsville area employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around New Martinsville WV to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in New Martinsville WV family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your New Martinsville residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally more affordable than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician colleges near New Martinsville WV. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of New Martinsville WV health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the radiology technician programs you are reviewing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the New Martinsville WV medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in New Martinsville WV in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with West Virginia healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their New Martinsville WV residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the New Martinsville WV colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the New Martinsville WV area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near New Martinsville WV?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near New Martinsville WV, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
New Martinsville, West Virginia
New Martinsville is located at 39°39′27″N 80°51′34″W / 39.65750°N 80.85944°W / 39.65750; -80.85944 (39.657465, -80.859504).Big Fishing Creek/ Fishing Creek is located downstream nearby, just South of town.
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,366 people, 2,340 households, and 1,477 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,009.7 inhabitants per square mile (775.9/km2). There were 2,632 housing units at an average density of 985.8 per square mile (380.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.2% White, 0.2% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 0.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.6% of the population.
There were 2,340 households of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.9% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.78.
The median age in the city was 46.5 years. 20.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20.9% were from 25 to 44; 30.6% were from 45 to 64; and 21.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.2% male and 52.8% female.
Find the Right X Ray Tech College New Martinsville WV
Picking the ideal radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in X Ray Tech College. However, as has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in New Martinsville WV.
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