So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Bullhead City AZ in order to train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing exam. 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 looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications also. For instance, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Bullhead City AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and also frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Bullhead City AZ or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number offer additional options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Bullhead City AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Bullhead City AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Bullhead City AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial 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 gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Bullhead City AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are interested in have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Bullhead City AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Bullhead City AZ in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable 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 number of students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Bullhead City AZ residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Bullhead City AZ schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on 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 opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Bullhead City AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Bullhead City X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate x-ray technician school is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology 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 provide the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Bullhead City Arizona.