So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Holbrook AZ so you can become a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the ideal college and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Holbrook AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment plus routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Holbrook AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many provide additional 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, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Holbrook AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your degree online, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Holbrook 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 obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Colleges
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Holbrook AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should check 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 need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might also receive 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. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Holbrook AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Holbrook AZ medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Holbrook AZ in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer 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 substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Holbrook AZ home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Holbrook AZ schools you are reviewing 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 an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Holbrook AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Holbrook X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the appropriate radiology tech school is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe 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 furnish the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Holbrook Arizona.