So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Gateway AK so you can train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are other important qualifications also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Gateway 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 take care of their equipment and frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Gateway AK or their region. After you have graduated from any 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.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites 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 purpose of licensing, but many provide additional options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Gateway AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray 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 the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically performed in Gateway AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make certain that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages 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 ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Gateway AK. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to confirm 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 undergone an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it might 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 premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid 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 a number of Gateway AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are interested in have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Gateway AK medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Gateway AK in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Gateway AK home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Gateway AK colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Gateway AK area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Gateway X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology tech degree program is an important first step toward launching a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are looking at before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Gateway Alaska.