So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near El Mirage AZ so you can train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are additional important qualifications as well. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance 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 have to care for their equipment and also regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally 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 four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in El Mirage AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many offer additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around El Mirage AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often performed in El Mirage AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just make sure that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician schools near El Mirage AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous review of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid 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 numerous El Mirage AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the xray tech schools you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the El Mirage AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in El Mirage AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their El Mirage AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the El Mirage AZ colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the El Mirage AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best El Mirage X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the ideal radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward starting a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs 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 good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in El Mirage Arizona.