So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Gold Canyon AZ in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are additional significant qualifications also. For instance, you need to 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 considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical major job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Gold Canyon AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment plus frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received 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 techs, 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 as much as 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for 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 programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Gold Canyon AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many accept other options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Gold Canyon AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a component of any 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 schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually provided in Gold Canyon AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
After you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Gold Canyon AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies 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 securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Gold Canyon AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are interested in have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Gold Canyon AZ health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Gold Canyon AZ in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Gold Canyon 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 local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Gold Canyon AZ colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gold Canyon AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Gold Canyon X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the appropriate radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs 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 productive work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiographer in Gold Canyon Arizona.