So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Doney Park AZ in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the right college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Doney Park AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may 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 also regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice 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 longer at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Doney Park AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many offer other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Doney Park AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often provided in Doney Park AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less costly than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just make sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
After you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Doney Park AZ. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to confirm 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Doney Park AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are evaluating have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Doney Park AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Doney Park AZ in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Doney Park AZ residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Doney Park AZ schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Doney Park AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Doney Park X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward starting a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are considering before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Doney Park Arizona.