So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Goodyear AZ so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are other significant qualifications also. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are a number of professional titles 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, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Goodyear AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might 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 routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Goodyear AZ or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Goodyear AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often provided in Goodyear AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just confirm that the online college you choose 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 best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Colleges
When you have decided on the kind 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 determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to make sure 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance 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 a number of Goodyear AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the radiology tech schools you are interested in have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Goodyear AZ medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Goodyear AZ in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Goodyear AZ home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable 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 want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must 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 enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Goodyear X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the ideal radiology technician college is an important first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are looking at prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Goodyear Arizona.