So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near College AK in order to become a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are other important qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in College AK hospitals, clinics, private 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 must care for their equipment and also regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually requires 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 finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in College AK or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alaska or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several offer other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around College AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often performed in College AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech schools near College AK. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it can also obtain 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 ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous College AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the xray technician programs you are interested in have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the College AK healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in College AK in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their College AK home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the College AK schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important 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 available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right College X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the ideal 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 condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and move and sometimes 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 guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiology tech in College Alaska.