So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Laveen AZ so you can learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the ideal college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. 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 talk about what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may practice in Laveen AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable 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 often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Laveen AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many offer other options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Laveen AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Laveen AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. 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 find that the online style of learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just confirm that the online school you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
When you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Laveen AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have obtained 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 regarded 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 instructors and course materials. If the college 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 recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Laveen AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the radiology tech programs you are assessing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Laveen AZ healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Laveen AZ in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Laveen AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Laveen AZ schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. 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 need to verify that the radiographer program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Laveen AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option 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 obligations.
Choose the Best Laveen X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the best x-ray technician college is an important first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate 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. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Laveen Arizona.