How to Pick an X-Ray Tech Degree Program near Cottonwood Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Cottonwood AZ so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you tackle selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s imperative that you research each of the colleges you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the colleges you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Job Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Cottonwood AZ hospitals, clinics, private 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 have to take care of their equipment and frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Cottonwood AZ health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally 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 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that Cottonwood AZ radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number approve additional options for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Cottonwood AZ employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually provided in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Cottonwood AZ residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just make certain that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
When you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of finding and assessing Cottonwood AZ x-ray tech colleges. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still crucial 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed examination 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. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Cottonwood AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the Arizona radiology tech colleges you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Cottonwood AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Cottonwood AZ healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Cottonwood AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Cottonwood AZ schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Cottonwood AZ, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours 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.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Radiology Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask radiographer prospects is "What compelled you to pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a radiology technician, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Right X-Ray Tech School near Cottonwood AZ
Picking the right radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Cottonwood AZ.
Some Background on Cottonwood Arizona
Cottonwood is a city in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 11,265.
Cottonwood is located at 34°43′56″N 112°1′7″W / 34.73222°N 112.01861°W / 34.73222; -112.01861 (34.732145, -112.018565).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.7 square miles (28 km2), all land.
Cottonwood has a semi-arid steppe climate. In January the normal high temperature is 55 °F (13 °C) with a low of 26 °F (−3 °C). In July the normal high temperature is 97 °F (36 °C) with a low of 68 °F (20 °C). Annual precipitation is around 13 inches (33 cm).
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,179 people, 3,983 households and 2,369 families residing in the city. The population density was 860.3 people per square mile (332.1/km²). There were 4,427 housing units at an average density of 414.9 per square mile (160.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.24% White, 0.49% Black or African American, 1.57% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 9.66% from other races, and 2.59% from two or more races. 20.53% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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