So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Bisbee AZ so you can train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions 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 radiology technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Bisbee AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize 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 and also frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Bisbee AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several provide other options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Bisbee AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Bisbee AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just make sure that the online school you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Bisbee AZ. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to verify 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Bisbee AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are evaluating have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Bisbee AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Bisbee AZ in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Bisbee AZ home. Individuals 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 concern. Something to keep 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 may need 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 live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Bisbee AZ schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Bisbee AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option 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 as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Bisbee X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the best radiology tech school is a crucial first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing 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 post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right education and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Bisbee Arizona.