So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Florence AZ so you can become a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you need to find out if 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 post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Florence AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may 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 regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Florence AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number offer additional options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Florence AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous 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 Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Florence AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often cheaper than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just be sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician schools near Florence AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Florence AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the radiology tech schools you are assessing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Florence AZ health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Florence AZ in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Florence AZ home. Individuals who have opted 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. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Florence AZ schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Florence AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. 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 Best Florence X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology technician degree program is an important first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs 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 pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Florence Arizona.