So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Arizona City AZ in order to train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about picking the right school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are additional important qualifiers also. For instance, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical fundamental 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 treating cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Arizona City AZ clinics, hospitals, private 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 care for their equipment and also frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also required 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 Technician Degrees Available
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete 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 nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Arizona City AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number approve other options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Arizona City AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Arizona City AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
After you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Arizona City AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 a rigorous review of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets 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 ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Arizona City AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Arizona City AZ health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Arizona City AZ in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Arizona City AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Arizona City AZ schools you are looking at 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 a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Arizona City AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Arizona City X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right x-ray tech school is a crucial first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to 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 social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the right education and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Arizona City Arizona.