So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Guadalupe AZ so you can become a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are other important qualifications as well. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Guadalupe AZ clinics, hospitals, 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 must take care of their equipment and also regularly assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college 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, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Guadalupe AZ or their region. 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.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several accept additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Guadalupe AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in Guadalupe AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just make certain that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Guadalupe AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to confirm 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation 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 education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Guadalupe AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are evaluating have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Guadalupe AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Guadalupe AZ in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign 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 number of students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Guadalupe AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few 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 must confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Guadalupe AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option 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 might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Guadalupe X-Ray Tech School
Picking the best x-ray tech college is a crucial first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe 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. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As we have covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Guadalupe Arizona.