So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Laveen AZ in order to train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the right college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical principal job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Laveen AZ clinics, hospitals, 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 take care of their equipment and routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Laveen AZ or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many provide additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Laveen AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically conducted 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 privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Laveen AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures 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 ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and course 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 recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Laveen AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray tech programs you are interested in have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Laveen AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Laveen AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Laveen AZ home. Those who have opted to attend classes online 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 bear in mind is that if you decide 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 frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Laveen AZ schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Laveen AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out 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 may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Laveen X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the appropriate radiology technician degree program is an important first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiographer in Laveen Arizona.