So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chino Valley AZ in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Work Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may 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 frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete 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 acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor 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 comply with any certification or licensing mandates 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 school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many offer other options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Chino Valley AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical 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 degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually provided in Chino Valley AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just make sure that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
After you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Chino Valley AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have acquired 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Chino Valley AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are reviewing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Chino Valley AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Chino Valley AZ in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement 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 in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Chino Valley AZ home. 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 concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Chino Valley AZ colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Chino Valley AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Chino Valley X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the right radiology technician college is an important first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Chino Valley Arizona.