How to Select an X-Ray Technician Program near Pima Arizona
Congratulations on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Pima AZ in order to train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the right college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you research each of the schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the colleges you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Occupation Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Pima AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment and also frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Pima AZ medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that Pima AZ radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in 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 Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many provide additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Pima AZ employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a part of any 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 fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often performed in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Pima AZ residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less costly than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and assessing Pima AZ x-ray technician schools. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still imperative to verify that the program and school 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Pima AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the Arizona xray tech programs you are interested in have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Pima AZ health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Pima AZ healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Pima AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Pima AZ colleges you are researching 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Pima AZ, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's important to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask radiographer applicants is "What drove you to decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a radiology technician, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best X-Ray Tech College near Pima AZ
Picking the right radiology technician college is an important first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to 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 social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Pima AZ.
Some Background on Pima Arizona
Pima County, Arizona
Pima County /ˈpiːmə/ is a county in the south central region of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, the population was 980,263, making it Arizona's second-most populous county. The county seat is Tucson, where nearly all of the population is centered. The county is named after the Pima Native Americans who are indigenous to this area.
Pima County comprises the Tucson, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Pima County contains parts of the Tohono O'odham Nation, as well as all of the San Xavier Indian Reservation, the Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Ironwood Forest National Monument and Saguaro National Park.
The vast majority of the county population lies in and around the city of Tucson (2011 city population: 525,796), filling much of the eastern part of the county with urban development. Tucson, Arizona's second largest city, is a major commercial and academic center. Other urban areas include the Tucson suburbs of Oro Valley (population 41,335), Marana (population 35,232), Sahuarita (population 25,458), and South Tucson (population 5,695), a large ring of unincorporated urban development, and the growing satellite town Green Valley. The rest of the county is sparsely populated; the largest towns are Sells, the capital of the Tohono O'odham Nation, and Ajo in the county's far western region.
Pima County, one of the four original counties in Arizona, was created by the 1st Arizona Territorial Legislature with land acquired through the Gadsden Purchase from Mexico in 1853. The original county consisted of all of Arizona Territory east of longitude 113° 20' and south of the Gila River. Soon thereafter, the counties of Cochise, Graham and Santa Cruz were carved from the original Pima County.
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