So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Goodyear AZ in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the ideal college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may work 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 have to care for their equipment plus regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required 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 Tech Degrees
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school 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 typical among techs, normally 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 four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Goodyear AZ or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many accept additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component 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 increase your career options in and around Goodyear AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Classes
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often carried out in Goodyear AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just make sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated 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
After you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Goodyear AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Goodyear AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Goodyear AZ healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Goodyear AZ in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Goodyear AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Goodyear AZ colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Goodyear AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Goodyear X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the appropriate x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines 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. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Goodyear Arizona.