So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Juneau AK in order to become a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the ideal 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 technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Juneau AK clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may 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 and frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned 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 typical among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Juneau AK or their region. Once 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.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many approve other options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might 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 comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Juneau AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Juneau AK. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have earned some type 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 respected 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 undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Juneau AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the xray technician programs you are reviewing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Juneau AK medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Juneau AK in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Juneau AK home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. 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 might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Juneau AK schools you are reviewing what the typical 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 an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Juneau AK area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Juneau X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are assessing before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Juneau Alaska.