So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Coolidge AZ so you can become a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are other important qualifiers also. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Coolidge AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and also frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete 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 expansive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Coolidge AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several provide other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Coolidge AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often provided in Coolidge AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced 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 disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Coolidge AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Coolidge AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are reviewing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Coolidge AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Coolidge AZ in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Coolidge AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online 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 bear in mind is that if you decide 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Coolidge AZ schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Coolidge AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Coolidge X-Ray Tech School
Picking the best radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Coolidge Arizona.