So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fortuna Foothills AZ so you can become a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are other important qualifiers as well. 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 evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Fortuna Foothills 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 additionally expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have received 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, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Fortuna Foothills AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Fortuna Foothills 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 calls for re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
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 curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Fortuna Foothills AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally less expensive than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just make sure that the online program you choose 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 right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Fortuna Foothills AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Fortuna Foothills AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the xray tech schools you are evaluating have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Fortuna Foothills AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Fortuna Foothills AZ in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Fortuna Foothills AZ home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Fortuna Foothills AZ colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fortuna Foothills AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Fortuna Foothills X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the best radiology tech school is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying 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 day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed 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. Possessing interpersonal 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 several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiology tech in Fortuna Foothills Arizona.