So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fort Mohave AZ so you can become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are additional important qualifiers also. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the same principal job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Fort Mohave AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment plus regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Fort Mohave AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number provide other alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Fort Mohave AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Fort Mohave AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just be sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
After you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Fort Mohave AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed review of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. 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 assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Fort Mohave AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Fort Mohave AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Fort Mohave AZ in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid 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 sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Fort Mohave AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically 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 person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Fort Mohave AZ colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fort Mohave AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Fort Mohave X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the best x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Fort Mohave Arizona.