So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Marana AZ in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Marana AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with 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 frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Marana AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide additional options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Marana AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive 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 X-Ray Technologist Colleges
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 degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Marana AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online college you pick 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 online classes may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician schools near Marana AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative 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 a detailed examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies 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 getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Marana AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech schools you are reviewing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Marana AZ health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Marana AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Marana AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Marana AZ colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Marana AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Marana X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the appropriate radiology technician degree program is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Marana Arizona.