So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Kenai AK so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle choosing the ideal college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may 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 practice in Kenai AK hospitals, clinics, private 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 take care of their equipment and routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical 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 students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Kenai AK or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alaska or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many offer other options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Kenai AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Kenai AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician schools near Kenai AK. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Kenai AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the radiology tech programs you are interested in have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Kenai AK health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Kenai AK in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Kenai AK residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Kenai AK schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate 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 also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kenai AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Kenai X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the ideal radiology tech school is a critical first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed 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. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Kenai Alaska.