So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Glendale AZ in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the right school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other significant qualifications also. For instance, you must ask whether or not 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 evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can 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 and regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain 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 Degree Options
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Glendale AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many offer additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Glendale AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
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 the same for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Glendale AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just confirm that the online program you choose 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 school may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech schools near Glendale AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program 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 gone through an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Glendale AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the radiology tech schools you are reviewing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Glendale AZ healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Glendale AZ in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Glendale AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Glendale AZ schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Glendale AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out 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 Best Glendale X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology technician degree program is an important first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Glendale Arizona.