So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Guadalupe AZ in order to become a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the right school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to ask 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 reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
Radiology Tech Job Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Guadalupe AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Guadalupe AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve other alternatives 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 will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Guadalupe 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 requires re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually provided in Guadalupe AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online school you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Guadalupe AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Guadalupe AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Guadalupe AZ medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Guadalupe AZ in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance 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 graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Guadalupe AZ residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously 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 perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom 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 Guadalupe AZ colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Guadalupe AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Guadalupe X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the right radiology tech school is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Guadalupe Arizona.