So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Mesa AZ so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are other critical qualifications as well. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Mesa 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 routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Mesa AZ or their region. After 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.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve additional options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Mesa AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often performed in Mesa AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Mesa AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material factor as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have acquired 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 regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Mesa AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the radiology technician programs you are reviewing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Mesa AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Mesa AZ in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Mesa AZ residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide 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 Mesa AZ schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Mesa AZ area, make certain 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 enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Mesa X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiographer in Mesa Arizona.