So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near College AK in order to learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the right school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers also. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in College AK clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment plus regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish 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 comprehensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in College AK or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, 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 require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around College AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
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 programs. So although you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often conducted in College AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make certain that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Programs
After you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician schools near College AK. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 detailed review of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many College AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology tech programs you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the College AK healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in College AK in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their College AK home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the College AK schools you are looking at 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 a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the College AK area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best College X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the right x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements 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 interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are considering prior to making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in 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 choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiographer in College Alaska.