So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Glendale AZ so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the ideal school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may 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 also routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete 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 Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received 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 prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Glendale AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number offer additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Glendale AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to 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 Technician Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Glendale AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just confirm 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.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Glendale AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Glendale AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray technician colleges you are reviewing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Glendale AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Glendale AZ in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Glendale AZ residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Glendale AZ colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Glendale AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Glendale X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician college is an important first step toward launching a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close 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 technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiographer in Glendale Arizona.