So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Glendale AZ so you can become a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifications as well. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
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 same principal job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view 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 may work in Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 plus regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to keep 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.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. 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 techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Glendale AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many accept other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Glendale AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Schools
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied 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 schools. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often less expensive than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Glendale AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out 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 reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of 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 undergone a rigorous review of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged 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 getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Glendale AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Glendale AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Glendale AZ in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Glendale AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically 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 prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Glendale AZ schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Glendale AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Glendale X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the best radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates 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. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Glendale Arizona.