So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Lake Montezuma AZ so you can train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you tackle selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers as well. For example, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Lake Montezuma AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain 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.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Lake Montezuma AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many approve additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Lake Montezuma AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually performed in Lake Montezuma AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
When you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Lake Montezuma AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. 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 positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the radiology tech schools you are evaluating have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Lake Montezuma AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Lake Montezuma AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success 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 confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Lake Montezuma AZ residence. Students who have decided 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Lake Montezuma AZ schools 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Lake Montezuma AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative 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 might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Lake Montezuma X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the ideal radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Lake Montezuma Arizona.