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 technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other significant qualifications as well. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Douglas AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and also routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Douglas AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several provide other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Douglas AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Douglas AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section 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 learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just make certain that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Douglas AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies 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 help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Douglas AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Douglas AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Douglas AZ in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates 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 commuting distance of their Douglas AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to 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 probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Douglas AZ schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Douglas AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Douglas X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate radiology technician college is a critical first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Douglas Arizona.