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 go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work 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 looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you must find out whether or not 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 examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment plus routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Goodyear AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many accept additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Goodyear AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as 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 examination.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually provided in Goodyear AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just make certain that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages 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 right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Programs
After you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Goodyear AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Goodyear AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray technician schools you are assessing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Goodyear AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Goodyear AZ in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing 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 good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Goodyear AZ residence. Individuals 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 decide 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Goodyear AZ schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Goodyear AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Goodyear X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the right x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Goodyear Arizona.