So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Buckeye AZ so you can train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For example, you need to 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 radiologic technician does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Buckeye AZ clinics, hospitals, private 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 have to take care of their equipment and routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Buckeye 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
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number offer other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Buckeye AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical 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 significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often conducted in Buckeye AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often more affordable than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
After you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Buckeye AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Buckeye AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the xray tech schools you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Buckeye AZ healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Buckeye AZ in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Buckeye AZ home. Those 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. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Buckeye AZ colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Buckeye AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Buckeye X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the right x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Buckeye Arizona.