So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Ketchikan AK in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are other important qualifiers also. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries 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 technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to use 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 opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Ketchikan AK hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment and routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth 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 Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Ketchikan AK or their region. Once you have graduated from one 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.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several approve other alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Ketchikan AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically provided in Ketchikan AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just be sure 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 right option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Colleges
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician schools near Ketchikan AK. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to make sure that the program and school 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it might also receive 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. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Ketchikan AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology tech colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Ketchikan AK healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Ketchikan 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 a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Ketchikan AK residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Ketchikan 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 speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Ketchikan AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Ketchikan X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the right x-ray technician school is a crucial first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are assessing before making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Ketchikan Alaska.