So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Big Park AZ so you can become a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle picking the right school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same 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 administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Big Park AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with 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 plus frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Big Park AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many accept other options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Big Park AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical 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 significant amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically provided in Big Park AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
Once you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Big Park AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their instructors and course materials. If the college 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 acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Big Park AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the xray technician programs you are evaluating have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Big Park AZ healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Big Park AZ in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Big Park AZ residence. Students who have decided 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 concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Big Park AZ schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Big Park AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Big Park X-Ray Tech School
Picking the right radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are considering prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Big Park Arizona.