So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Anthem AZ in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you tackle selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are other critical qualifiers also. For example, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Anthem AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might 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 also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are also required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray 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 common among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 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 are appropriate also. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Anthem AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from any 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.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several accept additional options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Anthem AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, 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 although you can still obtain your online degree, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually performed in Anthem AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just make certain that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech schools near Anthem AZ. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to verify 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Anthem AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the xray technician colleges you are evaluating have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Anthem AZ medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Anthem AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Anthem AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Anthem AZ schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few 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 school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Anthem AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Anthem X-Ray Tech School
Picking the right x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed 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. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Anthem Arizona.