So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near El Mirage AZ in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are other important qualifications also. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Occupation Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in El Mirage AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and regularly assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. 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, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in El Mirage AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many approve other options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around El Mirage AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
As a part of any 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 colleges. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually provided in El Mirage AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally more affordable than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near El Mirage AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many El Mirage AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the xray tech schools you are interested in have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the El Mirage AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in El Mirage AZ in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large 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 a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their El Mirage AZ home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the El Mirage AZ colleges you are researching 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 talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the El Mirage AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative 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 work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best El Mirage X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the appropriate x-ray tech college is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in El Mirage Arizona.