So you have made the decision 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 chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are additional significant qualifications also. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Catalina AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have received 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, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Catalina AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many approve other options for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Catalina AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist 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 colleges. So although you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually provided in Catalina AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just confirm 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 style of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Catalina AZ. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to make sure 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Catalina AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Catalina AZ medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Catalina AZ in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good 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 Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Catalina AZ home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps 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 commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back 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 AZ colleges you are looking at what the typical 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 an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Catalina AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Catalina X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the ideal radiology technician college 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 shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe 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 necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Catalina Arizona.