So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Buckeye AZ so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications as well. For example, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Buckeye AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may 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 frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required 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.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice 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 course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can 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. 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 practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many offer additional options for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Buckeye AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a part of every 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 although you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often provided in Buckeye AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often more affordable than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Buckeye AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing 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 important details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to confirm 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Buckeye AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are evaluating have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Buckeye AZ medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Buckeye AZ in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Buckeye AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 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 commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Buckeye AZ schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher 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 speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Buckeye AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Buckeye X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the appropriate radiology technician school is an important first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs 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 provide the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your final 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 evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Buckeye Arizona.