So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fort Mohave AZ in order to become a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake choosing the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifications also. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Fort Mohave AZ clinics, hospitals, family 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 have to take care of their equipment and also regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Fort Mohave AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be working you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several provide additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Fort Mohave AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical 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 substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually provided in Fort Mohave AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just make certain that the online school you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
After you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Fort Mohave AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
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 imperative to confirm that the program and school 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 undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Fort Mohave AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray tech colleges you are evaluating have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Fort Mohave AZ medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Fort Mohave AZ in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job assistance 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 School Located? For many students, the college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Fort Mohave AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may 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.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Fort Mohave AZ schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fort Mohave AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Fort Mohave X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the right radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are considering before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Fort Mohave Arizona.