So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Kenai AK in order to become a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are other important qualifications also. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer 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 discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Kenai AK hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 regularly assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain 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 Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. 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 techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Kenai AK or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alaska or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several accept other alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Kenai AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Kenai AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online college you enroll in 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 an online school may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
After you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Kenai AK. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Kenai AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Kenai AK medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Kenai AK in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Kenai AK residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might 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 for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Kenai AK schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Kenai AK area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Kenai X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the right x-ray technician degree program is an important first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes 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. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Kenai Alaska.