So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Bullhead City AZ so you can become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about selecting the ideal college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifications also. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Bullhead City AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment plus frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of all 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 prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Bullhead City AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements 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 technician school, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Bullhead City AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
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 while you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Bullhead City AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just confirm 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 formalized type of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Bullhead City AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to make sure 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). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Bullhead City AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Bullhead City AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Bullhead City AZ in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance 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 substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Bullhead City AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes 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 keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Bullhead City AZ colleges you are reviewing 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 a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must 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 alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Bullhead City X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the right x-ray tech degree program is an important first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing 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 appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the right education and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Bullhead City Arizona.