So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Kingman AZ so you can train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake choosing the right college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For example, you must find out whether or not 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 provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Occupation 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. No matter what the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Kingman AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 maintain their equipment and frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are also required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Kingman AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates 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 technician program, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so check with 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 several accept other options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Kingman AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a component of any 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 programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically provided in Kingman AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just be sure that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Kingman AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor 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 programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to make sure 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Kingman AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the radiology technician colleges you are assessing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Kingman AZ health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Kingman AZ in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good 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 many students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Kingman AZ home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Kingman AZ colleges you are considering 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important 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 available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Kingman X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology tech school is a crucial first step toward starting a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the right education and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Kingman Arizona.