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 decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the right school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For example, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Arizona City AZ clinics, hospitals, private 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 maintain their equipment and routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Arizona City AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria 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 purpose of licensing, but several provide additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Arizona City AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a part of every 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 while you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often carried out in Arizona City AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Arizona City AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also receive 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. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Arizona City AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are reviewing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Arizona City AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Arizona City AZ in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Arizona City AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Arizona City AZ schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Arizona City AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative 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 due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Arizona City X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the ideal x-ray tech college is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Arizona City Arizona.