So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Bisbee AZ in order to train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
Radiology Tech Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Bisbee AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment plus frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep complete 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 Tech Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Bisbee AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept other alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Bisbee AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Schools
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 colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in Bisbee AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally more affordable than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just make certain that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Bisbee AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded 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 a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might 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. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Bisbee AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the xray technician schools you are interested in have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Bisbee AZ medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Bisbee AZ in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering 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 confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Bisbee AZ home. Those who have chosen 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 program 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 don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Bisbee AZ schools you are reviewing 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bisbee AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Bisbee X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict 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 techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Bisbee Arizona.