So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chandler AZ so you can train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you undertake choosing the right school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Chandler AZ hospitals, clinics, 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 maintain their equipment and also routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 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 acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Chandler AZ or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept other options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Chandler AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges 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 obtain your online degree, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often carried out in Chandler AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally cheaper than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just make certain that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician schools near Chandler AZ. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Chandler AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray technician schools you are evaluating have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Chandler AZ health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Chandler AZ in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Chandler AZ home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Chandler 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 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 tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Chandler AZ area, check 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Chandler X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the best x-ray tech school is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing before making your final decision. This is similarly 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 program so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Chandler Arizona.