So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Kenai AK in order to become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifications also. For instance, you should 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 considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Job Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the same primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Kenai AK clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 also frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically 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 area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve additional options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Kenai AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship 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 accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Colleges
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Kenai AK. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies 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 examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets 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 quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Kenai AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are assessing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Kenai AK medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Kenai AK in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Kenai AK residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider 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 kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Kenai AK colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Kenai AK area, verify 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 may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Kenai X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the best radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Kenai Alaska.