So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Marana AZ so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake selecting the ideal school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require training 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. Most potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifiers as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Marana AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may 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 frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually 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 four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of 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 programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Marana AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several provide other alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Marana AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Marana AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often cheaper than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just be sure that the online program you enroll in 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 an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Marana AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Marana AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Marana AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Marana AZ in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out 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 sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Marana AZ home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing 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 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 are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Marana AZ colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Marana AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Marana X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the right radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Marana Arizona.