So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Catalina AZ so you can train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifications also. For instance, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Catalina AZ clinics, hospitals, family 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 have to maintain their equipment and also regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common 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 finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind 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 or externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Catalina AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several approve other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Catalina AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a part 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 although you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Catalina AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Catalina AZ. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies 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 review of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting 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 many Catalina AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Catalina AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Catalina AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Catalina AZ residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Catalina AZ colleges you are looking at 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Catalina AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option 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 might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Catalina X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the best radiology technician college is an important first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiographer in Catalina Arizona.