So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Douglas AZ in order to train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the right college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. 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 explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may practice in Douglas AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may 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 and also regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Douglas AZ or their area. Once 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 working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many offer additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Douglas AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
As a part of every 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 while you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Douglas AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just make sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Douglas AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to confirm that the program and school 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Douglas AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are reviewing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Douglas AZ health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Douglas AZ in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Douglas AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Douglas AZ colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Douglas AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Douglas X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the right x-ray technician school is an important first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Douglas Arizona.