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 technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers as well. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions 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 x-ray technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
Radiology Tech Job Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Glendale AZ clinics, hospitals, 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 have to take care of their equipment plus regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option 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 two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Glendale AZ or their region. After you have graduated from any 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.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept other alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Glendale AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually provided in Glendale AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally less expensive than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just make sure that the online college you pick 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.
What to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Glendale AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the school and program 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed examination of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Glendale AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray technician schools you are evaluating have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Glendale AZ health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? 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 challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering 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 corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Glendale AZ residence. Students who have decided 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 concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Glendale AZ schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student 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 converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Glendale AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Glendale X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the ideal x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Glendale Arizona.