So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Douglas AZ in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the right college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications also. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Douglas AZ clinics, hospitals, 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 care for their equipment and also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are also required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Douglas AZ or their region. Once 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
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several accept other options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Douglas AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Classes
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Douglas AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently cheaper than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Douglas AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies 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 an extensive review of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Douglas AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology technician schools you are interested in have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Douglas AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Douglas AZ in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Douglas AZ residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often 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 get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Douglas AZ schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Douglas AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Douglas X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the ideal radiology technician college is an important first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects 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. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Douglas Arizona.