So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fort Mohave AZ so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle selecting the right school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For instance, 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 presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Fort Mohave AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and also routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are also 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.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree 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 longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Fort Mohave AZ or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many provide other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Fort Mohave AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually provided in Fort Mohave AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally cheaper than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
Once you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Fort Mohave AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have obtained some type 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 respected 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 gone through an extensive review of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Fort Mohave AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are assessing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Fort Mohave AZ medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Fort Mohave AZ in a new field can be difficult without support. 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 good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Fort Mohave AZ home. Those who have decided 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 concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program 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 typically 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 hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Fort Mohave AZ schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night 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 courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Fort Mohave X-Ray Tech School
Picking the right x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward launching a satisfying 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 get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the proper education and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Fort Mohave Arizona.