So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Marana AZ so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifiers also. For instance, you must find out 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 considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of 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. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Marana AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 plus regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth 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 primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually 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 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Marana AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be working you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ 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 purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Marana AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually performed in Marana AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just confirm 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 structured style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
After you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Marana AZ. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations 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 an extensive review of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Marana AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the xray tech schools you are assessing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Marana AZ health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Marana AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Marana AZ home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Marana AZ schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Marana AZ area, confirm 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, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Marana X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with 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 doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you enroll 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 narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Marana Arizona.