So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fountain Hills AZ in order to become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the right college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the degrees and education options that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may practice in Fountain Hills AZ hospitals, clinics, private 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 routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate 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 more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose 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 clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Fountain Hills AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many accept other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Fountain Hills AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Fountain Hills AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less expensive than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just be sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Programs
After you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Fountain Hills AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. 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 assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Fountain Hills AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician programs you are assessing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Fountain Hills AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Fountain Hills AZ in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Fountain Hills AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Fountain Hills AZ schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt 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 available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Fountain Hills X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the best radiology technician school is an important first step toward initiating a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs 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 good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Fountain Hills Arizona.