How to Choose the Right Radiologic Tech College near Lolo Montana
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Lolo MT so you can become a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges 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 need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers also. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Tech Career Summary in Lolo MT
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Lolo MT clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may 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 evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degree Options near Lolo MT
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Lolo MT or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Montana or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many accept additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many Lolo area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Lolo MT to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often conducted in Lolo MT hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Lolo residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just confirm 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 structured style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Lolo MT. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor also. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still imperative to confirm that the program and school 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Lolo MT health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have relationships with area 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 the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Lolo MT healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Lolo MT in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are assessing 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 Montana healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Lolo MT residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Lolo MT colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lolo MT area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Lolo MT?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Lolo MT, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Lolo is a census-designated place (CDP) in Missoula County, Montana, United States. It is part of the Missoula Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,892 at the 2010 census, an increase from its population of 3,388 in 2000. It is home to Travelers' Rest State Park, a site where Lewis and Clark camped in 1805 and again in 1806.
Lolo is at 46°45′55″N 114°5′9″W / 46.76528°N 114.08583°W / 46.76528; -114.08583 (46.765210, -114.085892). The town lies at the confluence of U.S. Routes 12 and 93, and at the eastern end of the Lolo Trail. It, also, sits at the confluence of Lolo Creek and the Bitterroot River.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 9.7 square miles (25 km2), of which 9.5 square miles (25 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (2.16 percent) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,892 people, 1,218 households, and 936 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 356.2 people per square mile (137.6/km²). There were 1,263 housing units at an average density of 132.8 per square mile (51.3/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 96.69% White, 0.24% African American, 0.89% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.21% from other races, and 1.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.03% of the population.
Find the Right Radiography Technician Schools Lolo MT
Choosing the right x-ray tech school is a critical first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiography Technician Schools. However, as we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Lolo MT.
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