So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Doney Park AZ so you can become a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the right school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to use 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. Some choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Doney Park 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 also frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon 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 select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Doney Park AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many offer other alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Doney Park AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical 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 online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often conducted in Doney Park AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently cheaper than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just make sure that the online college 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 ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Doney Park AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. 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 college for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the xray technician schools you are assessing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Doney Park AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Doney Park AZ in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Doney Park AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? 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 likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Doney Park AZ colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Doney Park AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Doney Park X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the ideal radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward launching a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Doney Park Arizona.