So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chinle AZ so you can become a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might need preparation 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 potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifiers also. For example, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor 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 explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same principal job description, 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. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Chinle AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment plus regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program 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 common among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Chinle AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many approve additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Chinle AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Chinle AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just be sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
When you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Chinle AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to make sure that the school and program 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available 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 Provided? Find out if the radiology technician programs you are assessing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Chinle AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Chinle AZ in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Chinle AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Chinle AZ colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student 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 converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Chinle AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Chinle X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the appropriate x-ray technician school is an important first step toward starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Chinle Arizona.