So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Goodyear AZ so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications also. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment plus regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college 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 techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Goodyear AZ or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several approve other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Goodyear 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 demands re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Goodyear AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Goodyear AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to confirm 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the program 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 acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Goodyear AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the xray tech schools you are evaluating have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Goodyear AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Goodyear AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement 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 corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Goodyear AZ home. 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 concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Goodyear AZ colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Goodyear AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Goodyear X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the appropriate radiology technician college is a critical first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians 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 furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiographer in Goodyear Arizona.