So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Doney Park AZ in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical principal job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example 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 evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Doney Park AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several accept other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Doney Park AZ to earn certification. 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 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often carried out in Doney Park AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Doney Park AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? Most xray technician schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to confirm 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Doney Park AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are interested in have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Doney Park AZ health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Doney Park AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Doney Park AZ residence. Students 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 importance. One thing to bear 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Doney Park AZ schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Doney Park AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Doney Park X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the best x-ray tech college is a crucial first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you participate in 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 options and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Doney Park Arizona.