How to Select an X-Ray Technician College near Flagstaff Arizona
Congratulations regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Flagstaff AZ so you can train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you research each of the schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications also. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the colleges you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Flagstaff AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment plus frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Flagstaff AZ medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that Flagstaff AZ radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many provide additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Flagstaff AZ employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
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 colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically performed in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Flagstaff AZ home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently cheaper than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just be sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
After you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of finding and assessing Flagstaff AZ x-ray technician colleges. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still crucial to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of 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 gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets 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 ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Flagstaff AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the Arizona radiology tech programs you are interested in have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Flagstaff AZ healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Flagstaff AZ healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Flagstaff AZ home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Flagstaff AZ schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Flagstaff AZ, make sure that they are offered. 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 carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Become a Radiologic Technologist?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask radiographer applicants is "What drove you to select radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming an Xray technician, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Right Radiology Technician College near Flagstaff AZ
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed 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 social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are assessing before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Flagstaff AZ.
Some Background on Flagstaff Arizona
Flagstaff is a city in and the county seat of Coconino County in northern Arizona, in the southwestern United States. In 2015, the city's estimated population was 70,320. Flagstaff's combined metropolitan area has an estimated population of 139,097. The city is named after a ponderosa pine flagpole made by a scouting party from Boston (known as the "Second Boston Party") to celebrate the United States Centennial on July 4, 1876.
Flagstaff lies near the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau, along the western side of the largest contiguous Ponderosa Pine forest in the continental United States. Flagstaff is located adjacent to Mount Elden, just south of the San Francisco Peaks, the highest mountain range in the state of Arizona. Humphreys Peak, the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet (3,851 m), is located about 10 miles (16 km) north of Flagstaff in Kachina Peaks Wilderness.
Flagstaff's early economy was based on the lumber, railroad, and ranching industries. Today, the city remains an important distribution hub for companies such as Nestlé Purina PetCare, and is home to Lowell Observatory, The U.S. Naval Observatory, the United States Geological Survey Flagstaff Station, and Northern Arizona University. Flagstaff has a strong tourism sector, due to its proximity to Grand Canyon National Park, Oak Creek Canyon, the Arizona Snowbowl, Meteor Crater, and historic Route 66. The city is also a center for medical device manufacturing, since Flagstaff is home to W. L. Gore and Associates.
There exist several stories and legends regarding the origin of the city's name. Surveyors, prospectors, and investors had traveled through the area in the mid- to late-19th century, and the act of stripping a pine tree to fly an American flag has been attributed to several individuals over the course of a twenty-year span. It is said that, because of the flag that was raised, the area surrounding it became known as Flagstaff.
The first permanent settlement was in 1876, when Thomas F. McMillan built a cabin at the base of Mars Hill on the west side of town. During the 1880s, Flagstaff began to grow, opening its first post office and attracting the railroad industry. The early economy was based on timber, sheep, and cattle. By 1886, Flagstaff was the largest city on the railroad line between Albuquerque and the west coast of the United States. A circa 1900 diary entry by journalist Sharlot Hall described the houses in the city at the time as a "third rate mining camp", with unkempt air and high prices of available goods.
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