So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Catalina Foothills AZ so you can train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the same principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep 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 Available
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Catalina Foothills AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many accept other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Catalina Foothills AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Catalina Foothills AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just make sure that the online school you choose 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 right option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Catalina Foothills AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school 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 ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Catalina Foothills AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the radiology technician schools you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Catalina Foothills AZ in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Catalina Foothills 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 concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Catalina Foothills AZ schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Catalina Foothills AZ area, confirm that they are offered. 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 have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Catalina Foothills X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the right x-ray technician college is an important first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Catalina Foothills Arizona.