So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Lake Havasu City AZ so you can become a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the right college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifiers also. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may 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 routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Lake Havasu City AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be working you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many provide other options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Lake Havasu City AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often carried out in Lake Havasu City AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just make certain that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Lake Havasu City AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating 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 before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Lake Havasu City AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Lake Havasu City AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Lake Havasu City AZ in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Lake Havasu City AZ home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Lake Havasu City AZ colleges you are reviewing what the typical 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Lake Havasu City X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the ideal radiology technician college is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiographer in Lake Havasu City Arizona.