So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Arizona City AZ so you can become a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are additional important qualifiers also. For instance, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor 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 talk about what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical major job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Arizona City AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Arizona City 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
Once 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 criteria differ so contact 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 a number offer other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Arizona City AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually provided in Arizona City AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally more affordable than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just make certain that the online college you select 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 school may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
After you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Arizona City AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course 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 look at when comparing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting 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 employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the xray technician programs you are assessing have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Arizona City AZ healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Arizona City AZ in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Arizona City AZ home. 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. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Arizona City AZ schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt 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 available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Arizona City X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the best radiology tech school is a critical first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology 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 show an ability 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 techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive 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 program you are assessing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Arizona City Arizona.