So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Bullhead City AZ in order to train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Most potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Occupation Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Bullhead City AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 and also frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school 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 typical among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Bullhead City AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several approve additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Bullhead City AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
As a component 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 schools. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Bullhead City AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often more affordable than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Schools
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Bullhead City AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program 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). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it might also earn 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. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Bullhead City AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are assessing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Bullhead City AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Bullhead City AZ in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Bullhead City AZ home. Individuals who have decided 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 concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Bullhead City AZ schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Bullhead City AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Bullhead City X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the right x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward beginning a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Bullhead City Arizona.