So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near College AK so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the right college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. 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 potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you should 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 article. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same major job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in College AK hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment plus regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally 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 nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in College 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.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch 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 several provide additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around College AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
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 colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually provided in College AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often cheaper than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician colleges near College AK. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative 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 an extensive review of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many College AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the College AK medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in College AK in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering 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 great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their College AK home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing 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 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 for 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 back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit 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 classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the College AK area, check that they are offered. 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 need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right College X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the best x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in College Alaska.