So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Homer AK so you can train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the right college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifications as well. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Job Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal job description, 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. Many opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Homer AK hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment and frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Homer AK or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many approve additional options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Homer AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Homer AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Colleges
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of finding and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Homer AK. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to make sure that the program and school 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized 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 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 a number of Homer AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the xray technician programs you are evaluating have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Homer AK medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Homer AK in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Homer AK home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically 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 likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Homer AK schools you are considering 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 final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Homer AK area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative 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 may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Homer X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the best radiology tech school is a critical first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show 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 necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the proper education and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Homer Alaska.