So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Homer AK in order to train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
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. Irrespective of the name, each has the same primary 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 treating cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Homer AK clinics, hospitals, 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 frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option 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 two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical 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 a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Homer 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.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several provide other options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Homer AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often conducted in Homer AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally less costly than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just make certain that the online college you select 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 ideal option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Homer AK. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check 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 put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to confirm that the program and school 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 a rigorous review of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Homer AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology tech programs you are interested in 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 setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Homer AK medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Homer AK in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Homer AK residence. Those who have opted 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 concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically 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 student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Homer AK schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Homer AK area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Homer X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology technician school is a critical first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Homer Alaska.