So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Catalina AZ in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the ideal college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications also. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. 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 x-ray tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Catalina AZ hospitals, clinics, private 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 must care for their equipment and regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Catalina AZ or their area. Once 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.
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 might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several approve other options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Catalina AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often carried out in Catalina AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Catalina AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify that the school and program 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Catalina AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech programs you are interested in have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Catalina AZ healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Catalina AZ in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Catalina AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually 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 back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Catalina AZ schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Catalina AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Catalina X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the appropriate x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Catalina Arizona.