So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Kingman AZ in order to train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the right school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications also. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Kingman 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 must care for their equipment plus frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Kingman AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve other options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Kingman AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Kingman AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just make sure that the online school you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Kingman AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor also. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies 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 examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can 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 superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Kingman AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the xray technician colleges you are interested in have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Kingman AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Kingman AZ in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Kingman AZ home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Kingman AZ colleges you are looking at 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose 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 attend part-time, verify if that is an option 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 might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Kingman X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the appropriate x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the workday 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 comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Kingman Arizona.