So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Florence AZ in order to become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications also. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Florence AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment and also frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Florence AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many approve additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Florence AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically provided in Florence AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often less expensive than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just make certain 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 structured type of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Florence AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Florence AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are interested in have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Florence AZ medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Florence AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on 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 worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Florence AZ schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Florence AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify 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 may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Florence X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the best radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Florence Arizona.