So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Florence AZ in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle selecting the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For example, you need to find out 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 examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Florence AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize 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 frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain 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 Degrees
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied 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. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number provide other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Florence AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Florence AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often more affordable than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages 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 ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Schools
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Florence AZ. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to verify 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also obtain 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. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Florence AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the xray tech schools you are interested in have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific 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 help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Florence AZ health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Florence AZ in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Florence AZ home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Florence AZ schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Florence AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Florence X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the appropriate radiology tech college is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Florence Arizona.