So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Bethel AK in order to train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the ideal school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications also. For example, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Bethel AK clinics, hospitals, private 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 have to care for their equipment and routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep 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.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech college 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 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 longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable 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 frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Bethel AK or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alaska or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer other options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Bethel AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Bethel AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
When you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech schools near Bethel AK. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Bethel AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Bethel AK medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Bethel AK in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Bethel AK residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps 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 generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Bethel AK colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Bethel AK area, check 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 might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Bethel X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the right x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the right education and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Bethel Alaska.