So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Camp Verde AZ in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Many potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications also. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor 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 radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Camp Verde AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment plus regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of all 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 prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity 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 finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Camp Verde AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several provide additional options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Camp Verde AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
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 colleges. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically performed in Camp Verde AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just make certain that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Camp Verde AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets 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 ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Camp Verde AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the radiology tech colleges you are evaluating have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Camp Verde AZ health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Camp Verde AZ in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Camp Verde AZ home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously 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 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Camp Verde AZ colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the Program 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 important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Camp Verde AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Camp Verde X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the right radiology tech degree program is an important first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Camp Verde Arizona.