So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Holbrook AZ so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to find out 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 considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical major job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Holbrook AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize 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 and regularly assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Holbrook AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many accept other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Holbrook AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a component 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 programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Holbrook AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages 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 X Ray Tech Schools
Once you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Holbrook AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Holbrook AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are assessing have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Holbrook AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Holbrook AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Holbrook AZ residence. Those 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. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Holbrook AZ colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Holbrook AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Holbrook X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the right x-ray technician college is an important first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show 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. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available patient care. 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 ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the right education and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Holbrook Arizona.