So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fortuna Foothills AZ so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the right school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifications also. For example, you must ask if 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 provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Fortuna Foothills AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 and frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally 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 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Fortuna Foothills AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from one 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.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several provide additional options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Fortuna Foothills AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical 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 can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally cheaper than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just make sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Programs
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Fortuna Foothills 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 obviously the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Fortuna Foothills AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology tech schools you are reviewing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Fortuna Foothills AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Fortuna Foothills AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance 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 College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Fortuna Foothills AZ residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Fortuna Foothills AZ schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Fortuna Foothills AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Fortuna Foothills X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the best radiology technician college is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Fortuna Foothills Arizona.