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X-Ray Technician Programs
 How to Enroll in the Right One Near Phoenix Arizona

Phoenix Arizona x ray technician and physician examining x-rayYou are about to embark on a career path that will be satisfying both personally and economically as a medical professional when you enroll in an X-ray technician school near Phoenix AZ. But just how do you accomplish locating and choosing the best college and degree program so that you are fully trained and prepared to begin your career of providing quality healthcare services? And since most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Cost is obviously important, and students often gravitate toward the school with the most affordable tuition. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you should ask if the schools sponsor internship programs, or if the radiology technician schools have one or more accreditations. These inquiries and others that you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.

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

Radiology Technician Job Description

There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Phoenix AZ clinics, hospitals, 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
  • Fluoroscopy

Radiographers must take care of their equipment and also routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.

Radiology Technician Degrees Available

Phoenix Arizona x-ray tech examining x rayThe primary requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have received 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 takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Phoenix AZ or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates 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 school, based on the state where you will be working you might have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several offer additional options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous Phoenix area employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Phoenix AZ to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.

Online X-Ray Technologist Schools

Phoenix Arizona female student enrolled in online radiology tech coursesAs a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often provided in Phoenix AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Phoenix residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently cheaper than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online school you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.

What to Ask Radiology Tech Programs

As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Phoenix AZ. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. 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 evaluating colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.

Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous review of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Phoenix AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the radiology tech schools you are reviewing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Phoenix AZ medical community and help with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Phoenix AZ in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Phoenix AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Phoenix AZ schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.

Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech  program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Phoenix AZ area, make certain 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, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Learn More on How to Become an Radiology Tech in Phoenix

Enroll in the Right Phoenix Radiology Tech Program

Choosing the appropriate radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward starting a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Phoenix Arizona.




 

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