So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Drexel Heights AZ so you can become a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the right college and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may need 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. Many potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers also. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Work Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Drexel Heights AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Drexel Heights AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Drexel Heights AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically provided in Drexel Heights AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often more affordable than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
After you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Drexel Heights AZ. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial 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 undergone an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. 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 superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Drexel Heights AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are evaluating have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Drexel Heights AZ medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Drexel Heights AZ in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Drexel Heights AZ home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Drexel Heights AZ colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Drexel Heights AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Drexel Heights X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the appropriate radiology technician college is an important first step toward launching a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are looking at before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the right education and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Drexel Heights Arizona.