So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Golden Valley AZ in order to train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Golden Valley AZ clinics, hospitals, private 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 take care of their equipment plus routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many 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 abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many approve additional options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Golden Valley AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Golden Valley AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Schools
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Golden Valley AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations 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 a rigorous examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Golden Valley AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy 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 available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Golden Valley AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Golden Valley AZ home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Golden Valley AZ schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor 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 xray tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must 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 carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Golden Valley X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the appropriate radiology tech college is an important first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part 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 strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Golden Valley Arizona.