So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Coolidge AZ so you can become a radiology technologist. And 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 obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Many students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are other critical qualifications also. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Coolidge AZ hospitals, clinics, private 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 must take care of their equipment and also routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed 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 Offered
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor 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 licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept other alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Coolidge AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for 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 satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Schools
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Coolidge AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online college 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 an online school may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Colleges
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Coolidge AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of 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 undergone a detailed review of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. 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 premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Coolidge AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray technician programs you are assessing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Coolidge AZ medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Coolidge 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 placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Coolidge AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Coolidge AZ colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Coolidge AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Coolidge X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the ideal x-ray technician school is a crucial first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Coolidge Arizona.