So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Arizona City AZ in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle selecting the right school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Arizona City AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment plus regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Arizona City AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to 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 accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Classes
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 even though you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically provided in Arizona City AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less costly than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
Once you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Arizona City AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations 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 detailed evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Arizona City AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Arizona City AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Arizona City AZ in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success 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 substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Arizona City AZ residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have 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 live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Arizona City AZ schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Arizona City AZ 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 need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Arizona City X-Ray Tech School
Picking the best x-ray tech school is a critical 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 often stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate 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 assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the right training and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Arizona City Arizona.