So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chandler AZ so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about selecting the ideal college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need 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 start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For instance, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Chandler AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with 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 also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school 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 common among techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Chandler AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide other alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Chandler AZ to become certified. 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 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in Chandler AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just make sure that the online school you pick 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 online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Programs
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Chandler AZ. You will also have 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 critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Chandler AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Chandler AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Chandler AZ in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Chandler AZ home. Individuals who have decided 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 importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Chandler AZ schools you are looking at what the typical 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Chandler AZ area, verify 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Chandler X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the ideal radiology tech degree program is an important first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs 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 productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are considering before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Chandler Arizona.