So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Litchfield Park AZ so you can become a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the right college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental 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 opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Litchfield Park 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 must care for their equipment plus frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college is to have attained 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 prevalent among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Litchfield Park AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve other options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Litchfield Park AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical 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 substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college 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. But the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just make sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Litchfield Park AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded 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 a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance 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 superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Litchfield Park AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the xray tech schools you are assessing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Litchfield Park AZ health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Litchfield Park AZ in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Litchfield Park AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Litchfield Park AZ colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Litchfield Park AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option 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 may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Litchfield Park X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the appropriate radiology tech school is an important first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are considering before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Litchfield Park Arizona.