So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chino Valley AZ so you can train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Chino Valley AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might 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 routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also required 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 Technician Degrees Available
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Chino Valley AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates 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 technician school, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several approve other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Chino Valley AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Chino Valley AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online style of education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Chino Valley AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship 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 colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have received some type 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Chino Valley AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Chino Valley AZ health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Chino Valley AZ in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Chino Valley AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Chino Valley AZ schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Chino Valley AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Chino Valley X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the best x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed 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. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the proper education and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Chino Valley Arizona.