So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Laveen AZ so you can train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake picking the ideal school and program so that you will obtain 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 might require training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For example, you need to ask 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 presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Job Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Laveen AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with 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 regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally requires 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 expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Laveen AZ or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number provide additional options for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Laveen AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
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 no different for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Laveen AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often less expensive than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just make sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Laveen AZ. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing 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 before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Laveen AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the radiology tech colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Laveen AZ health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Laveen AZ in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Laveen AZ home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Laveen AZ schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Laveen AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative 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 might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Laveen X-Ray Tech School
Picking the appropriate radiology technician college is an important first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your choices 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 radiographer in Laveen Arizona.