So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fortuna Foothills AZ so you can become a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about selecting the right college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Fortuna Foothills AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize 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 frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Fortuna Foothills AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Fortuna Foothills AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Fortuna Foothills AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Fortuna Foothills AZ. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? Most xray tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Fortuna Foothills AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are interested in have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Fortuna Foothills AZ medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Fortuna Foothills AZ in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Fortuna Foothills AZ home. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Fortuna Foothills AZ colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Fortuna Foothills AZ area, verify that they are available. 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 due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Fortuna Foothills X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the ideal x-ray tech college is an important first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability 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 interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Fortuna Foothills Arizona.