So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Holbrook AZ in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are other critical qualifiers also. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
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 use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Holbrook 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 must take care of their equipment plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 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 four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Holbrook AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number approve other options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Holbrook 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 calls for re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Holbrook AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically 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 reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just make certain that the online college you enroll in 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 option for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Holbrook AZ. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby 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 an important factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations 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 rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can 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. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Holbrook AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the xray tech programs you are interested in have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get hands on 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 graduates and students develop professional connections in the Holbrook AZ healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Holbrook AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Holbrook AZ home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Holbrook AZ colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Holbrook AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Holbrook X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Holbrook Arizona.