So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Avra Valley AZ in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Occupation Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Avra Valley AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may 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 routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain 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 Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for attending 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 or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Avra Valley AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many approve additional options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Avra Valley AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
As a part 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 even though you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in Avra Valley AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally cheaper than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Avra Valley AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer 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 secondary expenses will be a material variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Avra Valley AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the xray technician colleges you are evaluating have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Avra Valley AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Avra Valley AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good 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 have to be within commuting distance of their Avra Valley AZ home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Avra Valley AZ colleges you are considering what the average 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 speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Avra Valley AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Avra Valley X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the best x-ray tech college is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs 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 pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Avra Valley Arizona.