So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Maricopa AZ in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For example, you must 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 considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Job Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose 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 specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Maricopa AZ clinics, hospitals, 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 have to maintain their equipment and regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Maricopa AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria 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 exam for the licensing application, but many offer other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers prefer to 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 calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is typically performed in Maricopa AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online school you pick 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 online classes may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Maricopa AZ. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Maricopa AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray technician schools you are interested in have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Maricopa AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Maricopa AZ in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Maricopa AZ residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Maricopa AZ colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Maricopa AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Maricopa X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the appropriate x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Maricopa Arizona.