So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chino Valley AZ in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. A number of potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications also. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Job Summary
There are multiple 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 primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Chino Valley AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize 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 evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Chino Valley AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Chino Valley AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves 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 may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Chino Valley AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the benefits 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.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
After you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Chino Valley AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when reviewing 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 must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Chino Valley AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are reviewing have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Chino Valley AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Chino Valley AZ in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Chino Valley AZ home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to 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 back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Chino Valley AZ schools you are researching 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 an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech program 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, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Chino Valley X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the best x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases 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 patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Chino Valley Arizona.