So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Kingman AZ so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. A number of prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal 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 provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Kingman AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 care for their equipment plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Kingman AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Kingman AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
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 no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often performed in Kingman AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just be sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Schools
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Kingman AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it may also earn 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. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Kingman AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are interested in have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Kingman AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Kingman AZ in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Kingman AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Kingman AZ colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity 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 finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Kingman AZ area, check that they are offered. 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 carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Kingman X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the right radiology tech college is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the 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 adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the proper education and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Kingman Arizona.