So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Bethel AK in order to train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake picking the ideal school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For example, you must 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 examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same fundamental job description, 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 treating cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Bethel AK clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 care for their equipment and frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Bethel AK or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alaska or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several approve additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Bethel AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Bethel AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Bethel AK. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous review of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Bethel AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the xray technician colleges you are assessing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally 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 Bethel AK health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Bethel AK in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Bethel AK home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Bethel AK colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bethel AK area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Bethel X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the appropriate x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are considering before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the right training and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Bethel Alaska.