So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fortuna Foothills AZ in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are other important qualifications also. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Fortuna Foothills AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment and also frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be satisfied 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 region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several provide other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Fortuna Foothills AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically performed in Fortuna Foothills AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are generally cheaper than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Colleges
After 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 technician colleges near Fortuna Foothills AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to verify 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might 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 assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Fortuna Foothills AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the xray technician colleges you are interested in have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get 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 connections in the Fortuna Foothills AZ healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Fortuna Foothills AZ in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Fortuna Foothills AZ home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Fortuna Foothills AZ schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Fortuna Foothills AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Fortuna Foothills X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the right x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Fortuna Foothills Arizona.