So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Avondale AZ so you can train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifiers also. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Avondale AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might 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 regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option 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 based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Avondale AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many accept other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Avondale AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically performed in Avondale AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally cheaper than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just make sure that the online program you pick 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 right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Avondale AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies 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 detailed examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Avondale AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the xray technician programs you are evaluating have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Avondale AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Avondale AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Avondale AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Avondale AZ colleges you are reviewing what the average 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Avondale AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Avondale X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the ideal radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed 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 interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Avondale Arizona.