So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Gilbert AZ so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you tackle picking the right college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are other critical qualifications as well. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries 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 offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Gilbert AZ clinics, hospitals, family 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 take care of their equipment and regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed 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
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Gilbert AZ or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve other options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Gilbert AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often performed in Gilbert AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally more affordable than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just make sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
After 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 Gilbert AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to confirm 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Gilbert AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Gilbert AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Gilbert AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Gilbert AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost 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 Gilbert AZ colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gilbert AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Gilbert X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the ideal x-ray tech college is a crucial first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians 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 productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Gilbert Arizona.