So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Litchfield Park AZ so you can become a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications as well. For instance, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Litchfield Park AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with 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 frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth 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 standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned 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 prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Litchfield Park AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any 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 Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several approve other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Litchfield Park AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled 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 schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Litchfield Park AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just make sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Litchfield Park AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to verify 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged 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 securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Litchfield Park AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the xray tech schools you are interested in have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Litchfield Park AZ medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Litchfield Park AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Litchfield Park 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. One thing 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 live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Litchfield Park AZ colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Litchfield Park 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 credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Litchfield Park X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the best radiology tech school is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Litchfield Park Arizona.