So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Gilbert AZ in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake picking the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you must find out if 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 evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Gilbert AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize 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 evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon 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 select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can 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 Gilbert AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Gilbert AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools 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 substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually performed in Gilbert AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just make sure that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Gilbert AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of 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 rigorous review of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Gilbert AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the radiology technician colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Gilbert AZ medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Gilbert AZ in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Gilbert AZ residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Gilbert AZ schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student 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 a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Gilbert AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Gilbert X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the best radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward starting a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority 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 requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Gilbert Arizona.