So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Cave Creek AZ in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need training 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 evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Job Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Cave Creek AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment plus regularly assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth 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 standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Cave Creek AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number offer additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire 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 requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is typically provided in Cave Creek AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally more affordable than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just make sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Cave Creek AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online 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 ancillary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. 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 securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Cave Creek AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are interested in have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Cave Creek AZ health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Cave Creek AZ in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Cave Creek AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Cave Creek AZ colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cave Creek AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Cave Creek X-Ray Tech School
Picking the appropriate x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Cave Creek Arizona.