So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Maricopa AZ so you can train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Maricopa AZ hospitals, clinics, private 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 maintain their equipment and regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Maricopa AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several provide additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Maricopa AZ to earn certification. 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 can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often performed in Maricopa AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Colleges
After you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Maricopa AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can 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 guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Maricopa AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the radiology technician colleges you are interested in have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Maricopa AZ health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Maricopa AZ in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Maricopa AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? 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 want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Maricopa AZ schools you are considering what the average teacher to student 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 speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Maricopa AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Maricopa X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the best radiology technician degree program is an important first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Maricopa Arizona.