So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Catalina Foothills AZ so you can learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about picking the ideal school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Most students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications also. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
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. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Catalina Foothills AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize 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 plus regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received 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 technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Catalina Foothills AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to become 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 offer additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Catalina Foothills AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often carried out in Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Colleges
When you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Catalina Foothills AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of xray 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. 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 undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Catalina Foothills AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the radiology technician programs you are evaluating have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Catalina Foothills AZ medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Catalina Foothills AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Catalina Foothills AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Catalina Foothills AZ colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Catalina Foothills AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Catalina Foothills X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing before making your final decision. This is just as 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 college so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Catalina Foothills Arizona.