So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Avondale AZ so you can train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake choosing the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Avondale AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may 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 plus frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program 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 technicians, generally takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. 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 opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Avondale AZ or their area. 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 Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number provide additional options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Avondale AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often performed in Avondale AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just confirm 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 style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Colleges
After you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Avondale AZ. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might also receive 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 superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Avondale AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the radiology tech programs you are interested in have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Avondale AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Avondale AZ in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Avondale AZ home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 decide to enroll in a school 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 normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Avondale AZ colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Avondale AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best 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 suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Avondale Arizona.