So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chena Ridge AK in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Chena Ridge AK clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 take care of their equipment and routinely assess its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Chena Ridge AK or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must 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 school, based on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number provide other options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Chena Ridge AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Chena Ridge AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally cheaper than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online school you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
When you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician schools near Chena Ridge AK. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more 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 essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded 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 gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it may also receive 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. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Chena Ridge AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Chena Ridge AK health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Chena Ridge AK in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Chena Ridge AK residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Chena Ridge AK colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Chena Ridge AK area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Chena Ridge X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate radiology technician school is a critical first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Chena Ridge Alaska.