So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Lake Havasu City AZ in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about picking the ideal college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same fundamental 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 the treatment of cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Lake Havasu City AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and also frequently analyze its functionality 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 Tech Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Lake Havasu City AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Lake Havasu City AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically 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 privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Colleges
After you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician schools near Lake Havasu City AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among 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 undergone a detailed examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized 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 acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Lake Havasu City AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the radiology technician programs you are reviewing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Lake Havasu City AZ in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Lake Havasu City AZ home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Lake Havasu City AZ schools 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 a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately pick can offer 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 Lake Havasu City AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Lake Havasu City X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the appropriate radiology technician college is an important first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray 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 productive work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Lake Havasu City Arizona.