So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Mesa AZ in order to train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the right college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start 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 need to be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. 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 talk about what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Mesa AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and also regularly assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required 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.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Mesa AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number offer other options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Mesa AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Mesa AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can 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 disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Mesa AZ. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Mesa AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the xray tech colleges you are evaluating have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Mesa AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Mesa AZ in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Mesa AZ residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Mesa AZ schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Mesa AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Mesa X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the best x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiographer in Mesa Arizona.