So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fortuna Foothills AZ so you can become a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers also. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Fortuna Foothills AZ hospitals, clinics, family 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 care for their equipment plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. 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, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Fortuna Foothills AZ or their region. 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.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many accept other options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified 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 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often performed in Fortuna Foothills AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in 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 an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Schools
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Fortuna Foothills AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous review of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Fortuna Foothills AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the xray tech colleges you are interested in have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Fortuna Foothills AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Fortuna Foothills AZ in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Fortuna Foothills AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Fortuna Foothills AZ colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fortuna Foothills AZ area, confirm 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 carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Fortuna Foothills X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the ideal x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Fortuna Foothills Arizona.