So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Knik Fairview AK so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications also. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same major job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Knik Fairview AK clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize 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 keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 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 choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Knik Fairview AK or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several provide additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Knik Fairview 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 calls for re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Knik Fairview AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Knik Fairview AK. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Knik Fairview AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the xray technician colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Knik Fairview AK healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Knik Fairview AK in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools 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 substantial networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Knik Fairview AK home. Students 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 concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class 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 Knik Fairview AK colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives 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 pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Knik Fairview AK area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Knik Fairview X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Knik Fairview Alaska.