So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Kenai AK in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake picking the right college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you should find out if 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 examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Kenai AK clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 also frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice 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 course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate also. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Kenai AK or their region. After 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 working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may 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 rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Kenai AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of education is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often more affordable than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Kenai AK. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Kenai AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the xray tech colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Kenai AK healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Kenai AK in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Kenai AK home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Kenai AK schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kenai AK area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Kenai X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the best x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Kenai Alaska.