So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Eloy AZ so you can become a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the right school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many potential 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 should be considered, there are additional important qualifiers also. For instance, you need to ask if 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 examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Eloy AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned 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 prevalent among techs, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be 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 participating in an internship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Eloy AZ or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Eloy AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Eloy AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just make sure that the online school you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
When you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Eloy AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out 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 assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected 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 gone through a detailed assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Eloy AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the radiology technician schools you are reviewing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Eloy AZ health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Eloy AZ in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing 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 good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Eloy AZ home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Eloy AZ schools you are reviewing what the typical 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 several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Eloy AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Eloy X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the right radiology technician school is an important first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians 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 deliver the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Eloy Arizona.