So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Anchorage AK in order to train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are other important qualifications as well. For example, you should find out 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 article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Anchorage AK clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment plus frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate 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 program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Anchorage AK or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several approve other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Anchorage AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is typically performed in Anchorage AK 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 home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online school 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 an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Anchorage AK. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still imperative to verify 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it might also obtain 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. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Anchorage AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech schools you are reviewing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Anchorage AK medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Anchorage AK in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Anchorage AK home. Those 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 concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Anchorage AK schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Anchorage AK area, verify 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 have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Anchorage X-Ray Tech School
Picking the ideal radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict 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 technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been addressed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Anchorage Alaska.