So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Juneau AK in order to train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical major job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Juneau 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 routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish 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 expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Juneau AK or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number approve other alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Juneau AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Juneau AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Juneau AK. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the school and program 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also receive 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. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Juneau AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the xray technician schools you are reviewing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Juneau AK health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Juneau AK in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Juneau AK residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Juneau AK colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Juneau AK area, check that they are offered. 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 need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Juneau X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the right x-ray tech degree program is an important first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability 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 radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Juneau Alaska.