So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Drexel Heights AZ so you can train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. A number of prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical major job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Drexel Heights AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain complete 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 Tech Degrees Available
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils 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 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Drexel Heights AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several accept other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Drexel Heights AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for 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 fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in Drexel Heights AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just confirm that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Drexel Heights AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded 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 a detailed review of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring 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 many Drexel Heights AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the xray technician programs you are assessing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Drexel Heights AZ medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Drexel Heights AZ in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Drexel Heights AZ home. 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 local internships will be of concern. Something to keep 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Drexel Heights AZ schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Drexel Heights AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Drexel Heights X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the ideal radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a gratifying 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 day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Drexel Heights Arizona.