So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Casa Grande AZ in order to train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you tackle selecting the right college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, 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 evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Casa Grande AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment and frequently assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech college 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, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Casa Grande AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be working you may 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 require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many provide additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Casa Grande AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Casa Grande AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just make certain that the online college 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 an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Casa Grande AZ. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may 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 jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the radiology technician programs you are evaluating have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Casa Grande AZ healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Casa Grande AZ in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Casa Grande 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 importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college 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 to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Casa Grande AZ colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Casa Grande AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Casa Grande X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate x-ray technician school is an important first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Casa Grande Arizona.