So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Knik Fairview AK so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake selecting the ideal college and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers as well. For instance, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical major job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Knik Fairview AK clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and also frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Knik Fairview AK or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer other options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Knik Fairview AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually provided in Knik Fairview AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just make sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Colleges
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech schools near Knik Fairview AK. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Knik Fairview AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the xray technician schools you are assessing have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Knik Fairview AK health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Knik Fairview AK in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Knik Fairview AK home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Knik Fairview AK schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Knik Fairview 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 credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Knik Fairview X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the right x-ray technician college is an important first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close 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 must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Knik Fairview Alaska.