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X-Ray Technician Schools
 How to Enroll in the Right One Near Oro Valley Arizona

Oro Valley Arizona x ray technician and doctor reviewing x-raySo you have decided to enroll in an X-ray technician school near Oro Valley AZ so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And based on where you eventually choose to practice, you may need to pass a licensing test since most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Cost is also a consideration, and students often gravitate toward the school with the most affordable tuition. But there are additional important criteria besides cost and location that must be part of the due diligence process as well. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others that you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training options that are available.

It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Begin Your Career in Radiology

X-Ray Tech Career Summary

There are a number of professional designations 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 identical fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Oro Valley AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:

  • Traditional and specialized X-Rays
  • Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Sonography or ultrasound
  • Fluoroscopy

Radiographers must maintain their equipment and also routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.

Radiology Tech Degrees Offered

Oro Valley Arizona radiology technician examining x rayThe standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by participating in an externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Oro Valley AZ or their region. Once 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.

Radiographer Licensing and Certification

After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve other alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Oro Valley area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Oro Valley AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.

Online X-Ray Tech Programs

Oro Valley Arizona woman attending online radiology tech classesAs a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Oro Valley AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Oro Valley home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently cheaper than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just make certain that the online college you choose 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 ideal option for you.

Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Programs

After you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Oro Valley AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important 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 Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to make sure that the program and school 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 examination of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. 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 quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Oro Valley AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Oro Valley AZ health care community and help with job placement.

Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Oro Valley AZ in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Oro Valley AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Oro Valley AZ colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer 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 opinions regarding the xray tech program also.

Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech  program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Oro Valley AZ area, make sure 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 need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

More Info on How to Become an X-Ray Tech in Oro Valley

Choose the Right Oro Valley X-Ray Tech School

Choosing the best x-ray technician degree program is an important first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Oro Valley Arizona.




 

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