So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Anthem AZ so you can become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are other important qualifications as well. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Anthem AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might 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 regularly assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 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 extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Anthem AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from one 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.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several accept additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Anthem AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often conducted in Anthem AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
When you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Anthem AZ. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed review of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it may also receive 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. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Anthem AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are evaluating have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Anthem AZ health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Anthem AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Anthem AZ home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern 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 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Anthem AZ schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Anthem AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Anthem X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right x-ray tech college is a crucial first step toward initiating a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiographer in Anthem Arizona.