So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Douglas AZ in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the right school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are additional critical qualifications also. For example, you must find out 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 article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical major job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Douglas AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment plus routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Douglas AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many offer additional options for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Douglas AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
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 earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Douglas AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often more affordable than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Douglas AZ. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review 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 distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged 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 securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Douglas AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the radiology technician programs you are interested in have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Douglas AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Douglas AZ in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Douglas AZ residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Douglas 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Douglas AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Douglas X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the ideal radiology tech college is an important first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs 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 we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Douglas Arizona.