So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Gold Canyon AZ so you can learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Gold Canyon AZ hospitals, clinics, 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 maintain their equipment and also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth 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 basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school 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 prevalent among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically 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 region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several offer other options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Gold Canyon AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Gold Canyon AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just confirm that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
After you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Gold Canyon AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among 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 assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. 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 premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Gold Canyon AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the xray tech colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Gold Canyon AZ healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Gold Canyon AZ in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement 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 corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Gold Canyon AZ home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Gold Canyon AZ colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Gold Canyon AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Gold Canyon X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the ideal radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Gold Canyon Arizona.