So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Big Park AZ in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the right college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Most potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. 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 training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Big Park AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment plus regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally 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 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Big Park AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several approve other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Big Park AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically performed in Big Park AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Big Park AZ. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Big Park AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are evaluating have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Big Park AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Big Park AZ in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Big Park AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 perhaps 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 often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Big Park AZ schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Big Park AZ area, verify that they are offered. 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, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Big Park X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the right x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed 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. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Big Park Arizona.