So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Flowing Wells AZ so you can train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending 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 so that you can evaluate each program. A number of students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other significant qualifiers also. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career 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 might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Flowing Wells AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 maintain their equipment and also frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Flowing Wells AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several provide other alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Flowing Wells AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Flowing Wells AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less costly than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Flowing Wells AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance 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 premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Flowing Wells AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the xray tech schools you are evaluating have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Flowing Wells AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Flowing Wells AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large 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 a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Flowing Wells AZ residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Flowing Wells AZ colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Flowing Wells AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Flowing Wells X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the right x-ray technician school is a crucial first step toward starting a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Flowing Wells Arizona.