So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Doney Park AZ in order to train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications also. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech 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, each has the identical primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Doney Park AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and also frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Doney Park AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Doney Park AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
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 although you can still obtain your online degree, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often carried out 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 comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often find that the online style of education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just confirm that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
After you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Doney Park AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also obtain 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. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Doney Park AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the xray tech schools you are reviewing have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Doney Park AZ health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Doney Park AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools 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 large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Doney Park AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Doney Park AZ schools you are looking at 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential 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, confirm that they are available. 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 have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Doney Park X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the right radiology technician school is a critical first step toward starting a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are considering before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Doney Park Arizona.