So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Eloy AZ so you can become a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about selecting the right college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical primary job function, which is to use 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 opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Eloy AZ clinics, hospitals, family 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 plus regularly assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. 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 technicians, generally takes 18 months to two 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 finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Eloy AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, 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 get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several offer other options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Eloy AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves 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 may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often carried out in Eloy AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less costly than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online school you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Eloy AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized 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 securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Eloy AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology technician programs you are assessing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Eloy AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Eloy AZ in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Eloy AZ home. Those who have opted to attend classes online 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 keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Eloy AZ schools you are reviewing 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Eloy AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check 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 because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Eloy X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the right radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Eloy Arizona.