So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Flowing Wells AZ in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly 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 radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are other important qualifications also. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical 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 may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example 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 may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment and routinely assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually takes 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 expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Flowing Wells AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many accept other alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Flowing Wells AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Flowing Wells AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Flowing Wells AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might 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 openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology tech colleges you are assessing have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Flowing Wells AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, 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 schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Flowing Wells AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Flowing Wells AZ schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Flowing Wells AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Flowing Wells X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the ideal x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Flowing Wells Arizona.