So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Doney Park AZ so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about choosing the ideal college and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are other critical qualifications also. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Doney Park 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 care for their equipment and frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Doney Park AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements 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 school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several offer additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Doney Park AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Doney Park AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
After you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician schools near Doney Park AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations 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 acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Doney Park AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the xray technician programs you are interested in have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Doney Park AZ medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Doney Park AZ in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing 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 good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Doney Park AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Doney Park AZ schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Doney Park AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Doney Park X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the appropriate x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Doney Park Arizona.