So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Kenai AK so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the right college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Work Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Kenai AK clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment and also regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Kenai AK or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alaska or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most 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 additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Kenai AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist 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 no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often provided in Kenai AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section 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 style of education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less costly than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Kenai AK. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered 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 school for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are interested in have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical 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 form professional connections in the Kenai AK healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Kenai AK in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Kenai AK home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Kenai AK colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kenai AK area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Kenai X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the best x-ray tech college is an important first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Kenai Alaska.