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X-Ray Tech Programs
 How to Select the Right One Near Flagstaff Arizona

Flagstaff Arizona x ray tech and doctor reviewing x-raySo you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray technician school near Flagstaff AZ so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. But exactly how do you go about locating and selecting the right school and degree program so that you are properly trained and prepared to begin your career of providing superior healthcare services? And depending on where you ultimately choose to practice, you will likely need to pass a licensing exam since the majority of states do stipulate that x-ray technicians become licensed. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. To start, one of the important qualifications that many future students focus in on when starting their search is the distance the schools are from their homes. Cost is obviously a consideration, and students too often settle on the school with the lowest tuition. But there are additional important criteria apart from location and cost that must be part of the decision making process as well. For instance, you should ask if the schools sponsor internship programs, or if the radiology tech schools have received any accreditations. These questions and others that you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.

It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Begin Your Career in Radiology

Radiology Technician Job Summary

X-ray techs are a kind of radiologic technologist, which is a healthcare professional that specializes in using diagnostic imagery equipment. X-ray technicians can be found preparing patients for imaging procedures, maintaining and operating equipment, and working with doctors to analyze the results of an imaging scan. More than half of all radiologic techs are employed in hospitals, however X-ray techs are important providers in many types of Flagstaff AZ healthcare facilities, including clinics, diagnostic labs and urgent care centers. Although it varies by facility, some X-ray technicians will be called on to work holidays, weekends or overnight to provide emergency services for patients. An X-ray tech’s work location also has some impact on their daily job duties. They can work at outpatient clinics where they may triage patients by taking their vitals, ask medical history questions and perform simple lab procedures. In larger facilities, they may use fluoroscopy to provide assistance during surgical procedures. There are a number of options for X-ray techs to work in medical facilities that meet their interests, specializations and scheduling requirements.

Radiology Tech Degree Options

Flagstaff Arizona x-ray tech examining x rayThe basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent 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 complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Flagstaff AZ or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.

Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing

After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements 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 many offer additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous Flagstaff area employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Flagstaff AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.

Online X-Ray Tech Programs

Flagstaff Arizona woman enrolled in online radiology technician coursesAs a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Flagstaff AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Flagstaff home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often more affordable than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.

What to Ask X Ray Tech Schools

When you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Flagstaff AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship 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 schools you are looking at.

Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to confirm 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program 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 recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Flagstaff AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level openings.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Flagstaff AZ healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Flagstaff AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance 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 substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Flagstaff AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Flagstaff AZ colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.

Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech  college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Flagstaff AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

More Info on How to Become an Radiology Tech in Flagstaff

Enroll in the Best Flagstaff Radiology Technician School

Picking the appropriate x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the right education and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Flagstaff Arizona.




 

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