So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Casa Grande AZ so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For instance, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
Radiology Tech Job Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Casa Grande AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize 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 plus routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Casa Grande AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Casa Grande AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved 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 ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Casa Grande AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Casa Grande AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to make sure 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance 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 many Casa Grande AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are assessing have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Casa Grande AZ medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Casa Grande AZ in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Casa Grande AZ home. 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 area internships will be of concern. Something to keep 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Casa Grande AZ schools you are reviewing 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Casa Grande AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses 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 obligations.
Choose the Best Casa Grande X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the right x-ray technician college is an important first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Casa Grande Arizona.