So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Green Valley AZ so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. 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 credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Career Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Green Valley AZ hospitals, clinics, private 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 maintain their equipment and routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also 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 Tech Degrees Available
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Green Valley AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be working you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many offer additional options 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, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification 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 approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually provided in Green Valley AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just confirm that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Green Valley AZ. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it may also receive 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. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can 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 radiology technician schools you are assessing have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Green Valley AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Green Valley AZ in a new field can be difficult without assistance. 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 an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Green Valley AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually 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 prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Green Valley AZ colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Green Valley AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Green Valley X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the best x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are looking at before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Green Valley Arizona.