How to Find the Right Radiology Tech Program near Washington District of Columbia
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Washington DC so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are other important qualifications also. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary in Washington DC
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Washington DC 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 care for their equipment and regularly assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available near Washington DC
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Washington DC or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in District of Columbia or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many approve additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Washington area employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Washington DC to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Classes
As a component of every 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 colleges. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically provided in Washington DC hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Washington home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just make certain that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
After you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Washington DC. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby 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 a determining variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected 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 undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies 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 acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Washington DC health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are interested in have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Washington DC medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Washington DC in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with District of Columbia healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Washington DC residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Washington DC colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor 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 perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Washington DC area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Washington DC?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Washington DC, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. Washington is the principal city of the Washington metropolitan area, which has a population of 6,131,977. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, the city is an important world political capital. Washington is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million annual tourists.
The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and the District is therefore not a part of any state. The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria. Named in honor of President George Washington, the City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia; in 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the District.
Washington had an estimated population of 693,972 as of July 2017[update], making it the 20th largest American city by population. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. The Washington metropolitan area, of which the District is the principal city, has a population of over 6 million, the sixth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the country.
All three branches of the U.S. federal government are centered in the District: U.S. Congress (legislative), President (executive), and the U.S. Supreme Court (judicial). Washington is home to many national monuments and museums, which are primarily situated on or around the National Mall. The city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit, lobbying groups, and professional associations, including the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, and the American Red Cross.
Find the Right Radiation Tech Degree Washington DC
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray tech school is an important first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiation Tech Degree. However, as has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Washington DC.
More Diagnostic Locations in District of Columbia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 261