So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Bisbee AZ so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying 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 qualified professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by searching 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 expense and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifications also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Bisbee AZ hospitals, clinics, 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 must care for their equipment plus frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical 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 hospitals and clinics in Bisbee AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several approve additional options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Bisbee AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often carried out in Bisbee AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just be sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Bisbee AZ. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Bisbee AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are reviewing have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Bisbee AZ healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Bisbee AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Bisbee AZ home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have 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 don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Bisbee AZ colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bisbee AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Bisbee X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the right radiology tech college is a crucial first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Bisbee Arizona.