So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Florence AZ in order to train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work 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 in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. 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 significant qualifiers also. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must 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 technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Florence AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with 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 plus regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth 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 Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned 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 prevalent among technicians, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Florence AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with 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 several accept additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Florence AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a component of every 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 while you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often carried out in Florence AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less expensive than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Florence AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed review of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Florence AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are assessing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Florence AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Florence AZ in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Florence AZ home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Florence AZ schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Florence AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Florence X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the appropriate radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are looking at before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Florence Arizona.