So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Camp Verde AZ so you can learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are other critical qualifiers also. For instance, 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 reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Camp Verde AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment plus routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Camp Verde AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with 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 x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many accept additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Camp Verde AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often carried out in Camp Verde AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just make sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech schools near Camp Verde AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded 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 review of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Camp Verde AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the xray tech schools you are assessing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Camp Verde AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Camp Verde AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Camp Verde AZ home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? 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 likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Camp Verde AZ colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher 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 an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Camp Verde AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Camp Verde X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the ideal radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Camp Verde Arizona.