So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Flowing Wells AZ in order to become a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are multiple professional titles 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 fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Flowing Wells AZ hospitals, clinics, family 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 care for their equipment and also regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have attained 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 typical among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Flowing Wells AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many approve additional options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Flowing Wells AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
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 no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in Flowing Wells AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section 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 much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often cheaper than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online college 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 school may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Programs
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Flowing Wells AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded 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 detailed assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Flowing Wells AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the radiology tech schools you are evaluating have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Flowing Wells AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Flowing Wells AZ in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Flowing Wells AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Flowing Wells AZ schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Flowing Wells AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Flowing Wells X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are considering before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Flowing Wells Arizona.