So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Badger AK so you can become a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake choosing the ideal college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifications also. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Badger AK hospitals, clinics, 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 maintain their equipment plus regularly assess its performance and safety. They are also required to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Badger AK or their region. Once you have graduated from one 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.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many provide additional options for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Badger AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in Badger AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less costly than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just make sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Badger AK. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Badger AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Badger AK healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Badger AK in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Badger AK home. Students who have opted 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. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Badger AK colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Badger AK area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Badger X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray tech school is an important first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability 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 techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Badger Alaska.