So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Golden Valley AZ so you can train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle choosing the right college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications also. For example, you need to ask 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 presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Golden Valley AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 frequently assess its performance and safety. They are additionally 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 Technician Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. 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, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools 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 or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Golden Valley AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one 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 Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several offer other options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Golden Valley AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Classes
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Golden Valley 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 home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less costly than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online college you select 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 choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Golden Valley AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to verify 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Golden Valley AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Golden Valley AZ medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Golden Valley AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Golden Valley AZ residence. Those who have opted 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. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Golden Valley AZ schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Golden Valley AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Golden Valley X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the ideal radiology tech school 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 condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part 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 close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally 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 college so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Golden Valley Arizona.