So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Douglas AZ in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the ideal 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 ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifications also. For instance, you need to find out if 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 presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can 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 have to care for their equipment plus regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Douglas AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it may improve 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 rigorous 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 Radiology Technologist Schools
As a component of any 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 schools. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Douglas AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Programs
Once you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Douglas AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous review of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on 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 ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Douglas AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the xray technician colleges you are reviewing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Douglas AZ healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Douglas AZ in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Douglas AZ residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Douglas AZ schools you are considering 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Douglas AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative 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 may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Douglas X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology technician school is a critical first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is equally 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 college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right education and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Douglas Arizona.