So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Holbrook AZ in order to train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the right school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are other important qualifications also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Holbrook AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment plus frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep 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.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. 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, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Holbrook AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several accept other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Holbrook AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually provided in Holbrook AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Programs
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Holbrook AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to confirm 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Holbrook AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the xray technician schools you are interested in have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Holbrook AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Holbrook AZ in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Holbrook AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Holbrook AZ colleges you are researching 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 a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Holbrook AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Holbrook X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the best radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are considering before making your final decision. This is equally 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 program so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the right training and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Holbrook Arizona.