So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Badger AK in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers 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 evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Job Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the same primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Badger AK clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and also routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students 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 two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Badger AK or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alaska or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements 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 several offer additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Badger AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a component 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 programs. So while you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often performed in Badger AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Programs
Once you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Badger AK. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous review of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Badger AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Badger AK 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 initial job in Badger AK in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Badger AK residence. Those who have opted 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. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need 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 Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Badger AK colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Badger AK area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Badger X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the best x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Badger Alaska.