So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Laveen AZ so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are other important qualifiers as well. 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 should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Laveen AZ clinics, hospitals, private 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 care for their equipment and also routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth 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 Degree Options
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Laveen AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from one 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 Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact 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 several provide other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Laveen AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Laveen AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less costly than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just be sure that the online college you select 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 option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Laveen AZ. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still imperative to verify 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive review of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. 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 obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Laveen AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech programs you are assessing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Laveen AZ healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Laveen AZ in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Laveen 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 local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Laveen AZ schools you are researching what the typical 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 an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Laveen AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Laveen X-Ray Tech School
Picking the ideal x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians 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 patient care. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Laveen Arizona.