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. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the right college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are other critical qualifiers also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may practice in Chinle AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with 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 plus regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Chinle AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ 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 several offer additional options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase 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 comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
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 schools. So while you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually provided in Chinle AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online school you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
Once you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Chinle AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations 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 instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it may also obtain 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. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Chinle AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are reviewing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally 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 Chinle AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Chinle AZ in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Chinle AZ home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually 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 student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Chinle AZ schools you are researching 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Chinle AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses 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.
Choose the Right Chinle X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the best x-ray tech college is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed 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. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering before making your final 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 evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Chinle Arizona.