So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Flowing Wells AZ so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical major job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Flowing Wells AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and also routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Flowing Wells AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve other options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Flowing Wells AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Flowing Wells AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online school you pick 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 option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Schools
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Flowing Wells AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. 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 help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Flowing Wells AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Flowing Wells AZ health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Flowing Wells AZ in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Flowing Wells AZ home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Flowing Wells AZ schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does 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 especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Flowing Wells AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option 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 might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Flowing Wells X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the ideal radiology technician school is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Flowing Wells Arizona.