So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Eagle River AK in order to become a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about picking the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal 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 specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Eagle River AK hospitals, clinics, family 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 maintain their equipment and also regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain complete 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 Technician Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology 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 technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable 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 satisfied by participating in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Eagle River AK or their area. Once you have graduated from one 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.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide other alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Eagle River AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Schools
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 the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often provided in Eagle River AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just make sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
After you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Eagle River AK. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of 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 gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets 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 guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Eagle River AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech colleges you are reviewing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Eagle River AK medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Eagle River AK in a new field 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 an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Eagle River AK residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Eagle River AK schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Eagle River AK area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Eagle River X-Ray Tech School
Picking the best radiology technician school is an important first step toward launching a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Eagle River Alaska.