So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Maricopa AZ in order to become a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about selecting the right college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are other important qualifications as well. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Maricopa AZ hospitals, clinics, 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 must maintain their equipment plus regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Maricopa AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any 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.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several provide other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Maricopa AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Maricopa AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However 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 practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just confirm 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 right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Colleges
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Maricopa AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded 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 a detailed assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations 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 aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Maricopa AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the xray technician schools you are evaluating have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive 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 graduates and students establish professional connections in the Maricopa AZ healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Maricopa AZ in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Maricopa AZ home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Maricopa AZ colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student 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 converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Maricopa AZ area, verify that they are available. 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 have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Maricopa X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the best radiology technician degree program is an important first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs 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 good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Maricopa Arizona.