So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Avondale AZ so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake picking the right college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Avondale AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 routinely assess its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete 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 comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Avondale AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number provide additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Avondale AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Avondale AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just make sure that the online school you select 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 ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Schools
When you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Avondale AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies 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 educational materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance 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 numerous Avondale AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the xray tech schools you are assessing have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Avondale AZ healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Avondale AZ in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Avondale AZ residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer 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 typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Avondale AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Avondale X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the right x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper 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. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Avondale Arizona.