How to Choose the Right Radiology Technician Degree Program near Flagstaff Arizona
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Flagstaff AZ in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake picking the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other important qualifiers also. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary in Flagstaff AZ
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Flagstaff AZ clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available near Flagstaff AZ
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Flagstaff AZ or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arizona or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending 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 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 accept additional options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Flagstaff area employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Flagstaff AZ to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually performed in Flagstaff AZ family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Flagstaff residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally cheaper than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
When you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Flagstaff AZ. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies 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 examination of their instructors and course materials. If the school 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 recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Flagstaff AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech programs you are interested in have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Flagstaff AZ medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Flagstaff AZ in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Flagstaff AZ home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Flagstaff AZ colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Flagstaff 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 credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Flagstaff AZ?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Flagstaff AZ, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
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 next 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 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 growing center for medical and biotechnology manufacturing, home to corporations such as SenesTech and W. L. Gore and Associates. 
There are several stories and legends about 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 a twenty-year span. It is said that, because of the flag that was raised, the area surrounding it became known as Flagstaff.
Find the Right Top X Ray Tech Schools Flagstaff AZ
Picking the appropriate radiology tech school is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed 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 interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Top X Ray Tech Schools. However, as has been addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you decide on 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 options and make your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Flagstaff AZ.
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