So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Homer AK in order to become a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the right college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical major job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Homer AK hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time 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 may be appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Homer AK or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept additional options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Homer AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for 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 exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Homer AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally cheaper than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just make sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages 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 choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Programs
When you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Homer AK. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded 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 undergone an extensive review of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Homer AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Homer AK healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Homer AK in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Homer AK home. Individuals who have opted 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 concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person 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 personalized instruction. Ask the Homer AK colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Homer AK area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Homer X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate 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. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Homer Alaska.