So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Juneau AK so you can train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the right school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Juneau AK clinics, hospitals, private 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 take care of their equipment and also regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Juneau AK or their region. After you have graduated from one 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
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch 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 many approve additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Juneau AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often performed in Juneau AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less costly than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online school you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Juneau AK. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to confirm 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 a detailed review of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Juneau AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Juneau AK medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Juneau AK in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Juneau 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 area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Juneau AK colleges 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Juneau AK area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Juneau X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe 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. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Juneau Alaska.