So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Lake Havasu City AZ so you can train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifications also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries 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 radiologic tech does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the same primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Lake Havasu City AZ clinics, hospitals, family 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 plus routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option 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 course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Lake Havasu City AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several accept other options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Lake Havasu City AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often provided in Lake Havasu City AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often more affordable than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
When you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Lake Havasu City AZ. You will also need to determine 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 important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Lake Havasu City AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the radiology technician programs you are interested in have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Lake Havasu City AZ medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Lake Havasu City AZ in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Lake Havasu City AZ residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear 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 generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Lake Havasu City AZ colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Lake Havasu City X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the best x-ray tech school is an important first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Lake Havasu City Arizona.