So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Cave Creek AZ in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the right school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications as well. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Job Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Cave Creek AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize 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 routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain 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 Technician Degree Options
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Cave Creek AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so check with 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 approve additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Cave Creek AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in Cave Creek AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just make sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
After you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Cave Creek AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Cave Creek AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are evaluating have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Cave Creek AZ healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Cave Creek AZ in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Cave Creek AZ home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school 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 to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Cave Creek AZ schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Cave Creek AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option 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 as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Cave Creek X-Ray Tech School
Picking the appropriate radiology tech college is a crucial first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability 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 techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Cave Creek Arizona.