So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Litchfield Park AZ so you can become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the right school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are other critical qualifiers also. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Litchfield Park AZ clinics, hospitals, family 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 maintain their equipment plus frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete 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 Offered
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. 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 techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs 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 or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Litchfield Park AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Litchfield Park AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a part 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 schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Litchfield Park AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just make certain 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 type of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
After you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech schools near Litchfield Park AZ. You will also need to decide if you prefer 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 critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out 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 decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to verify that the school and program 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 gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Litchfield Park AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the radiology tech schools you are assessing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Litchfield Park AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Litchfield Park AZ in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Litchfield Park AZ home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Litchfield Park AZ schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Litchfield Park AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Litchfield Park X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the ideal x-ray tech college is an important first step toward starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Litchfield Park Arizona.