So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Cave Creek AZ so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications as well. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Cave Creek 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 regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have received 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, usually requires 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 complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Cave Creek AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many offer other alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Cave Creek AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in Cave Creek AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just make sure 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 structured type of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Schools
After you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Cave Creek AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized 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 assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Cave Creek AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the radiology tech colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Cave Creek AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Cave Creek AZ in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Cave Creek AZ residence. 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 concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally 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 way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Cave Creek AZ colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Cave Creek AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Cave Creek X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the right radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward starting a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Cave Creek Arizona.