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 technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Cave Creek AZ hospitals, clinics, family 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 must take care of their equipment and also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are also required 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 Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students 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 two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Cave Creek AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many approve other options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Cave Creek AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually provided in Cave Creek AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make certain that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Colleges
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate 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 online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to confirm that the school and program 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive review of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Cave Creek AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the xray technician schools you are evaluating have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Cave Creek AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Cave Creek AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Cave Creek AZ residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Cave Creek AZ colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on 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 technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Cave Creek AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Cave Creek X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the appropriate radiology technician school is a critical first step toward starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology 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 good work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Cave Creek Arizona.