So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Drexel Heights AZ in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the ideal college and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may need 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. A number of prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are other important qualifications also. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Drexel Heights AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep 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 Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Drexel Heights AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many approve additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only 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 accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied 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 portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just make sure that the online college you select 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 degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
After you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Drexel Heights AZ. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to confirm 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Drexel Heights AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the xray tech colleges you are interested in have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Drexel Heights AZ medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Drexel Heights AZ in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Drexel Heights AZ home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Drexel Heights AZ schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night 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 alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Drexel Heights X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the appropriate x-ray technician college is an important first step toward launching a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your final 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 examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Drexel Heights Arizona.