So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Kingman AZ so you can train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are additional significant qualifications also. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Kingman AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and also frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Kingman AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become 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 purpose of licensing, but several offer additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Kingman AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically performed in Kingman AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally cheaper than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just be sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Kingman AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations 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 assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Kingman AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray tech programs you are assessing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Kingman AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Kingman AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Kingman AZ home. Those who have decided 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 concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Kingman AZ colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Kingman AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, 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 might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Kingman X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the appropriate x-ray tech school is a critical first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Kingman Arizona.