So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Kingman AZ so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifiers also. For example, you need to ask 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 talk about what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same primary job description, 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. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Kingman AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with 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 plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in 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 typical among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Kingman AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many provide additional options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Kingman AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a part of every 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 even though you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Kingman AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Kingman AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in 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 important details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative 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 assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Kingman AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the radiology tech colleges you are reviewing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Kingman AZ medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Kingman AZ in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Kingman AZ residence. Individuals 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 generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Kingman AZ schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kingman AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Kingman X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the appropriate x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward beginning a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology 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 productive work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are considering prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Kingman Arizona.