So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Green Valley AZ so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about selecting the right college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifications as well. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Work Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Green Valley AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might 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 and frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be 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 participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Green Valley AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one 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.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several accept other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Green Valley AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually performed in Green Valley AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less expensive than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just confirm that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Colleges
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Green Valley AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded 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 an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the college 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. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Green Valley AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the xray tech programs you are assessing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Green Valley AZ medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Green Valley AZ in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Green Valley AZ home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? 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 undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Green Valley AZ schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Green Valley AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify 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.
Enroll in the Best Green Valley X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the appropriate radiology technician college is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Green Valley Arizona.