So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Drexel Heights AZ so you can train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications as well. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Drexel Heights AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may 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 plus routinely evaluate 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.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Drexel Heights AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so contact 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 many accept other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Drexel Heights AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Drexel Heights AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech schools near Drexel Heights AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still imperative to confirm that the program and school 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Drexel Heights AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Drexel Heights AZ medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Drexel Heights AZ in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Drexel Heights 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 area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Drexel Heights AZ colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Drexel Heights AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Drexel Heights X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the best x-ray technician degree program is an important first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are looking at before making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiographer in Drexel Heights Arizona.