So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Anthem AZ in order to become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Anthem AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment plus routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Anthem AZ or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many offer other options for testing also. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Anthem AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Anthem AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just make certain that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching 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 nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? Most xray technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Anthem AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Anthem AZ medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Anthem AZ in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Anthem AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern 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 even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort 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 Anthem AZ schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer program you finally select 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 Anthem AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Anthem X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Anthem Arizona.