So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Bullhead City AZ in order to become a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same major job function, which is to employ 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 choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Bullhead City AZ clinics, hospitals, 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 have to take care of their equipment plus frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. 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 requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Bullhead City AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from one 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 Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Bullhead City AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically provided in Bullhead City AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally cheaper than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician schools near Bullhead City AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material variable as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Bullhead City AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Bullhead City AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Bullhead City AZ in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Bullhead City AZ residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Bullhead City AZ colleges you are looking at 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 some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bullhead City AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Bullhead City X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding 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 sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Bullhead City Arizona.