So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Apache Junction AZ so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifiers also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical major job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Apache Junction AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and also regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Apache Junction AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
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. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Apache Junction AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often carried out in Apache Junction AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often more affordable than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Apache Junction AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Apache Junction AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the radiology technician schools you are interested in have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Apache Junction AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Apache Junction AZ in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Apache Junction AZ home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need 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 live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Apache Junction AZ colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Apache Junction AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Apache Junction X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology tech school is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed 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 good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are considering before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Apache Junction Arizona.