So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Bethel AK in order to train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Bethel AK hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 take care of their equipment and also frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are also 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 Degrees
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many schools 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 abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alaska or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check 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 a number offer additional options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Bethel AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually 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 comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Bethel AK. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Bethel AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the xray technician programs you are reviewing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Bethel AK healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Bethel AK in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Bethel AK residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Bethel AK schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the School 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 particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bethel AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Bethel X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the appropriate x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability 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 technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Bethel Alaska.