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Radiologic Tech Programs
 How to Pick the Best One Near Phoenix Arizona

Phoenix Arizona x ray tech and physician reviewing x-raySo you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Phoenix AZ so you can train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the ideal college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you compare the schools on your short list by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each of their X-ray technician programs. One of the first things that many prospective students hone in on when beginning their search is how far the schools are from their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are other critical qualifications as well. As an example, you should inquire about the sponsoring of internship programs, or if the radiology technician schools have one or more accreditations. These inquiries and others that you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.

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

Radiology Technician Work Summary

There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to use 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. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Phoenix 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
  • Fluoroscopy

Radiographers must take care of their equipment plus routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed 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 Offered

Phoenix Arizona radiology tech examining x rayThe standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. 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 technicians, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Phoenix AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.

Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing

When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many accept additional options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many Phoenix area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Phoenix AZ to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.

Online Radiology Technician Programs

Phoenix Arizona female student enrolled in online radiology tech coursesAs a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Phoenix AZ hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Phoenix home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.

Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs

As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Phoenix AZ. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.

Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to make sure that the program and school 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 detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Phoenix AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level openings.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech schools you are assessing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Phoenix AZ healthcare community and help with job placement.

Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Phoenix AZ in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Phoenix AZ home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously 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 program that is out of state or perhaps 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 commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Phoenix AZ schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.

Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer  program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Phoenix AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Find Out How to Become an X-Ray Tech in Phoenix

Choose the Right Phoenix Radiology Tech Program

Enrolling in the right x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Phoenix Arizona.




 

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