So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Badger AK in order to learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are additional important qualifiers also. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Badger AK hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize 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 additionally required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Badger AK or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several accept other options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Badger AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often conducted in Badger AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just confirm 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 choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Badger AK. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations 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 help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Badger AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are reviewing have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way 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 Badger AK health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Badger AK in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Badger AK residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Badger AK schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Badger AK area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Badger X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the appropriate x-ray tech college is an important first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Badger Alaska.