So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Golden Valley AZ so you can become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Most potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the same primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Golden Valley AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment plus routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Golden Valley AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several provide other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Golden Valley AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually provided in Golden Valley AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often less expensive than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Golden Valley AZ. You will also need to determine 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 college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations 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 obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Golden Valley AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are reviewing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Golden Valley AZ healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Golden Valley AZ in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Golden Valley AZ home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Golden Valley AZ schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to 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 courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Golden Valley X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the right radiology tech degree program is an important first step toward starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed 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. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at before making your final selection. This is equally 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 college so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Golden Valley Arizona.