So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chinle AZ so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For example, you must 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 presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Chinle AZ hospitals, clinics, private 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 take care of their equipment plus frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are also 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.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 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 appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Chinle AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Chinle AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically provided in Chinle AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just make certain that the online school you choose 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 online classes may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Chinle AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed examination of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can 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 guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Chinle AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the xray technician schools you are evaluating have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Chinle AZ medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Chinle AZ in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Chinle AZ residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within 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 get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Chinle AZ schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Chinle 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 need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Chinle X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the right x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed 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 social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Chinle Arizona.