So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Maricopa AZ so you can train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Maricopa AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize 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 routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Maricopa AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number accept other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Maricopa AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Maricopa AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally less expensive than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just confirm that the online school you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Colleges
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Maricopa AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to make sure 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online 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 superior education, accreditation will also help in getting 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 Maricopa AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Maricopa AZ health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Maricopa AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Maricopa AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Maricopa AZ colleges you are reviewing 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Maricopa AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Maricopa X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right radiology technician college is a critical first step toward launching a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability 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 technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate decision. 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 program so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Maricopa Arizona.