So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Casas Adobes AZ in order to train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications as well. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Casas Adobes AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain 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
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Casas Adobes AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one 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
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Casas Adobes AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically provided in Casas Adobes AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally cheaper than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just confirm that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Casas Adobes AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program 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). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course 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 acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Casas Adobes AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the xray technician colleges you are interested in have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on experience 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 may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Casas Adobes AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Casas Adobes AZ in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance 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 confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Casas Adobes AZ residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently 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 back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Casas Adobes AZ schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Casas Adobes AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Casas Adobes X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the appropriate radiology tech school is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Casas Adobes Arizona.