So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chinle AZ in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the right school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers also. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
Radiology Tech Occupation Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Chinle AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have attained 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 common among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Chinle AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one 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.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve additional options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Chinle AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often provided in Chinle AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often cheaper than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just confirm that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
When you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Chinle AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected 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 a rigorous review of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized 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 obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Chinle AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Chinle AZ medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Chinle AZ in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Chinle AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Chinle AZ colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Chinle AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Chinle X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the right radiology tech college is an important first step toward starting a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians 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 pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Chinle Arizona.