How to Select a Radiology Technician School near Somerton Arizona
Congrats on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Somerton AZ so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the colleges you are considering in order to compare each program. Most potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifications also. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Somerton AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 care for their equipment and regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Somerton AZ health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to consider is that Somerton AZ radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Somerton AZ employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Somerton AZ home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating Somerton AZ x-ray tech colleges. 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 naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still imperative to confirm 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies 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 getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Somerton AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the Arizona xray tech schools you are interested in have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Somerton AZ medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Somerton AZ healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Somerton AZ home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Somerton AZ colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the x-ray tech college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Somerton AZ, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be an Xray Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask radiographer prospects is "What made you decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming an Xray technician, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Right Radiology Tech Program near Somerton AZ
Selecting the ideal radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology 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 productive work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are assessing before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Somerton AZ.
Some Background on Somerton Arizona
Somerton is a city in Yuma County, Arizona, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 14,287. It is part of the Yuma Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Somerton was established in 1898 and incorporated in 1918. Somerton's economy is based on agriculture, medical services, and tourism.
Somerton is located at 32°35′50″N 114°42′44″W / 32.59722°N 114.71222°W / 32.59722; -114.71222 (32.597258, -114.712242).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,266 people, 1,818 households, and 1,652 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,483.2 people per square mile (2,109.3/km²). There were 1,967 housing units at an average density of 1,484.4 per square mile (571.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 44.52% White, 0.37% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 51.11% from other races, and 2.99% from two or more races. 95.17% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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