So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Cave Creek AZ in order to train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you tackle selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For instance, you need to find out if 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 discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are a number of professional titles 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 identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Cave Creek AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program 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 common among techs, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer 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 additional related majors that are acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Cave Creek AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many provide additional options for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Cave Creek AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Cave Creek AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages 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 choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
When you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Cave Creek AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer 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 relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to confirm 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program 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 acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Cave Creek AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech schools you are reviewing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, 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 Cave Creek AZ health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Cave Creek AZ in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement 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 confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Cave Creek AZ home. Individuals who have decided 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Cave Creek AZ schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cave Creek AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Cave Creek X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the best x-ray technician college is an important first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are looking at prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the right education and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Cave Creek Arizona.