So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chandler AZ so you can become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the right school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers also. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Chandler AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may work with 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 regularly assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 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 may be acceptable as well. 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 frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Chandler AZ or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be working you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several approve additional options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Chandler AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often provided in Chandler AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Schools
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Chandler AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected 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 an extensive evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Chandler AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the xray technician programs you are reviewing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Chandler AZ health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Chandler AZ in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Chandler AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Chandler AZ colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Chandler AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Chandler X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the ideal radiology technician college is an important first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Chandler Arizona.