So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Lake Montezuma AZ in order to become a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the ideal college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's important 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 start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are additional important qualifications also. For instance, you need to ask 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 considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same major job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Lake Montezuma AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment plus regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Lake Montezuma AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several provide additional options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Lake Montezuma AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a part of every 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 even though you can still obtain your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Lake Montezuma AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online style of learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just confirm 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 formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Lake Montezuma AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure that the program and school 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed examination of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Lake Montezuma AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the xray technician colleges you are assessing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Lake Montezuma AZ medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Lake Montezuma AZ in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Lake Montezuma AZ home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Lake Montezuma AZ schools you are reviewing 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 final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Lake Montezuma AZ area, make sure that they are available. 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 carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Lake Montezuma X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right x-ray tech school is a critical first step toward initiating a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes 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. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Lake Montezuma Arizona.