So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Casa Grande AZ so you can train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. 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 students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Casa Grande AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might 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 plus regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Casa Grande AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many approve additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase 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 comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Schools
As a component of any 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 programs. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically provided in Casa Grande AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced 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 structured type of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Casa Grande AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at 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 uncover some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed examination of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Casa Grande AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are reviewing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Casa Grande AZ healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Casa Grande AZ in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Casa Grande AZ residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Casa Grande AZ colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Casa Grande AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Casa Grande X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates 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 techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiology tech in Casa Grande Arizona.