So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chino Valley AZ so you can become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental 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 treating cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Chino Valley AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 take care of their equipment plus routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have earned 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 prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Chino Valley AZ or their area. Once 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 Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number provide other options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Chino Valley AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually provided in Chino Valley AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just make certain that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
After you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Chino Valley AZ. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray tech schools have obtained 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 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 evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Chino Valley AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray technician colleges you are assessing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Chino Valley AZ healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Chino Valley AZ in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are reviewing 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 substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Chino Valley AZ home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Chino Valley AZ schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Chino Valley AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Chino Valley X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate radiology technician school is an important first step toward beginning a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed 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 must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Chino Valley Arizona.