So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Gateway AK in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are other critical qualifiers also. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Gateway AK hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might 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 frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete 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 Tech Degrees Offered
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Gateway AK or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number accept other options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase 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 comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
As a component 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 schools. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Gateway AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally less costly than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
Once you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Gateway AK. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify 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 gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Gateway AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology tech colleges you are reviewing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Gateway AK healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Gateway AK in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Gateway AK residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose 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 don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Gateway AK schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gateway AK area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Gateway X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the best x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Gateway Alaska.