So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Gold Canyon AZ in order to train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. 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. Many students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifications also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. 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 tech does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same principal 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 the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Gold Canyon AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may 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 frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have earned 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 technicians, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Gold Canyon AZ or their area. 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.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide other options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only 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 requires re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in Gold Canyon AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make sure that the online college you enroll in 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 right option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Colleges
When you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Gold Canyon AZ. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among 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 gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Gold Canyon AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the radiology technician programs you are interested in have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Gold Canyon AZ medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Gold Canyon AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Gold Canyon AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Gold Canyon AZ schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gold Canyon AZ area, confirm 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 have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Gold Canyon X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate radiology tech college is a crucial first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed 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. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Gold Canyon Arizona.