So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Catalina Foothills AZ in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications also. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Catalina Foothills AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize 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 regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth 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 Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech college 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 requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Catalina Foothills AZ or their area. 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 working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve additional options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Catalina Foothills AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often performed in Catalina Foothills AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just make sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician schools near Catalina Foothills AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among 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 an extensive review of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online 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 assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Catalina Foothills AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray technician colleges you are evaluating have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Catalina Foothills AZ medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Catalina Foothills AZ in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Catalina Foothills AZ home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school 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 commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Catalina Foothills AZ colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Catalina Foothills AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Catalina Foothills X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist 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 demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Catalina Foothills Arizona.