So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Badger AK so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative 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 colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the same principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Badger AK hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment plus regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical 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 offer through local hospitals and clinics in Badger AK or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alaska or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several accept other options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Badger AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled 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 no different for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Badger AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just be sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Badger AK. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of 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 examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Badger AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray technician schools you are reviewing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Badger AK healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Badger AK in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good 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 School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Badger AK residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Badger AK schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Badger AK area, verify that they are offered. 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 need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Badger X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the best radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you decide on 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 options before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Badger Alaska.