So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Marana AZ so you can train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Marana AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment plus regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. 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 requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer 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 certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate 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. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise 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 comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Marana AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just be sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Marana AZ. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor also. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. 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 Sponsored? Ask if the radiology technician colleges you are assessing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Marana AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Marana AZ in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Marana AZ residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might 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 for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Marana AZ schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Marana AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Marana X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the right x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward beginning a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Marana Arizona.