So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Anthem AZ so you can train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled 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 exam. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Anthem AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and also regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional 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 part of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many 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 practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several accept additional options for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire 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 involves 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 fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship 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 section of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Anthem AZ. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among 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 undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized 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 acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Anthem AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the radiology tech schools you are evaluating have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Anthem AZ healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Anthem AZ in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Anthem AZ home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Anthem AZ colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending 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 option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Anthem X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the best x-ray technician school is a crucial first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority 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 adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or commute 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 appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Anthem Arizona.