So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Casa Grande AZ so you can become a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For instance, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Work Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Casa Grande AZ clinics, hospitals, private 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 care for their equipment plus frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for attending 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, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Casa Grande AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several offer additional options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Casa Grande 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 calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a part 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 programs. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Casa Grande AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often less expensive than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just confirm that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
When you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Casa Grande AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of 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 undergone a detailed assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Casa Grande AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech schools you are reviewing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Casa Grande AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Casa Grande AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement 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 well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Casa Grande AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Casa Grande AZ colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Casa Grande AZ area, verify that they are available. 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 carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Casa Grande X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate x-ray tech degree program is an important first step toward starting a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been covered in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Casa Grande Arizona.