So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Gold Canyon AZ in order to train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately 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 considering in order to compare each program. A number of prospective 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 most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Gold Canyon AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 also regularly assess its performance and safety. They are additionally expected 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 Available
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. 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, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Gold Canyon AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several offer other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Gold Canyon AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a part of every 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 although you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Gold Canyon AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Gold Canyon AZ. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program 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 undergone a rigorous review of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. 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 assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might 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 Internships Offered? Ask if the xray tech programs you are interested in have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Gold Canyon AZ medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Gold Canyon AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Gold Canyon AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously 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 college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Gold Canyon AZ schools you are considering what the average 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gold Canyon AZ area, check 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Gold Canyon X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiology tech in Gold Canyon Arizona.