So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Litchfield Park AZ in order to become a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential 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 colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Litchfield Park AZ clinics, hospitals, private 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 must care for their equipment and also routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have received 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, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Litchfield Park AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve other alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Litchfield Park AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, 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 colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often provided in Litchfield Park AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are generally less costly than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Litchfield Park AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous review of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it might also obtain 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. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Litchfield Park AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the xray technician colleges you are reviewing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Litchfield Park AZ healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Litchfield Park AZ in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Litchfield Park AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Litchfield Park AZ colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. 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.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Litchfield Park AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Litchfield Park X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the right radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are looking at before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Litchfield Park Arizona.