So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Glendale AZ so you can train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle selecting the right college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what 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. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Glendale AZ clinics, hospitals, 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 have to take care of their equipment plus routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain 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 Technician Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable 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 frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer 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 comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several offer additional options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Glendale 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 requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Glendale AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just make sure 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 an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
After you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Glendale AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed 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 targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Glendale AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the xray technician programs you are evaluating have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Glendale AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Glendale AZ in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Glendale AZ residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Glendale AZ schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Glendale AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Glendale X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Glendale Arizona.