So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Goodyear AZ so you can become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you go about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers also. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are multiple professional designations 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, each has the same major job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 also routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Goodyear AZ or their area. After 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 practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
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 mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many approve additional options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Goodyear AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a part of every 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 programs. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Goodyear AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online program you select 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 school may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Colleges
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Goodyear AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Goodyear AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the radiology tech colleges you are reviewing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Goodyear AZ healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Goodyear AZ in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great 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 school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Goodyear AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Goodyear AZ schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Goodyear AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Goodyear X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate radiology technician school is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Goodyear Arizona.