So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Guadalupe AZ so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are additional important qualifications as well. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Guadalupe AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may 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 also routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate 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 often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Guadalupe AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several offer other options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Guadalupe AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually provided in Guadalupe AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just be sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Guadalupe AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to verify 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets 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 superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Guadalupe AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray tech schools you are assessing have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Guadalupe AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Guadalupe AZ in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing 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 great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Guadalupe AZ residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally 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 student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Guadalupe AZ schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Guadalupe AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Guadalupe X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Guadalupe Arizona.