So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Ketchikan AK so you can train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the right school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications also. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Job Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Ketchikan AK hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment plus frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Ketchikan AK or their area. After 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.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many approve additional options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Ketchikan AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
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 while you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Ketchikan AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often cheaper than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make certain that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
Once you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Ketchikan AK. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Ketchikan AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech colleges you are evaluating have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Ketchikan AK health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Ketchikan AK in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Ketchikan AK home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Ketchikan AK colleges you are looking at what the average 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 talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Ketchikan AK area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Ketchikan X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates 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. X-Ray techs 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 good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are assessing before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Ketchikan Alaska.