So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fountain Hills AZ so you can train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Work Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Fountain Hills AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with 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 regularly assess its performance 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 Technician Degrees Offered
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Fountain Hills AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Fountain Hills AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Fountain Hills AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages 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 choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Fountain Hills AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to make sure that the school and program 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 rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations 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 assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Fountain Hills AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Fountain Hills AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Fountain Hills AZ in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Fountain Hills AZ home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps 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 frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Fountain Hills AZ colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher 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 several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Fountain Hills AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Fountain Hills X-Ray Tech School
Picking the appropriate x-ray tech school is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or commute 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 right training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Fountain Hills Arizona.