So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fountain Hills AZ in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, 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 explore what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Fountain Hills AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and also frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 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 scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Fountain Hills AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many accept other alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Fountain Hills AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Fountain Hills AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often cheaper than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make certain that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Fountain Hills AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with 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 internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative 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). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may 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 jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the radiology tech schools you are evaluating have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Fountain Hills AZ medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Fountain Hills AZ in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Fountain Hills AZ home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Fountain Hills AZ schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fountain Hills AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Fountain Hills X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the ideal x-ray technician degree program is an important first step toward launching a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are looking at before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the proper education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Fountain Hills Arizona.