So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Anthem AZ so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the right school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifications as well. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Anthem AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete 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 Available
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Anthem AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing 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 school, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Anthem AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges 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 obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Anthem AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make sure that the online school you pick 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 ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Programs
After you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Anthem AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed 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 education. All accrediting organizations 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 many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Anthem AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology technician programs you are evaluating have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Anthem AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Anthem AZ in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Anthem AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Anthem AZ schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Anthem AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Anthem X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the best x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to 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. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the right training and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Anthem Arizona.