So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Golden Valley AZ in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Most prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical primary job function, 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 the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Golden Valley AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might 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 plus frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Golden Valley AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many provide additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Golden Valley AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a component 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 programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Golden Valley AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just make sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Schools
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Golden Valley AZ. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges 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 compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous review of their teachers and educational 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 organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Golden Valley AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the radiology technician colleges you are assessing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Golden Valley AZ medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Golden Valley AZ in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing 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 great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Golden Valley AZ residence. Those 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 concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Golden Valley AZ schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Golden Valley AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Golden Valley X-Ray Tech School
Picking the best x-ray technician school is an important first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements 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 interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiographer in Golden Valley Arizona.