So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Kodiak AK so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the right school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Occupation Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Kodiak AK clinics, hospitals, 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 and also routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school 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 prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Kodiak AK or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several offer other options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Kodiak AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often carried out in Kodiak AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally less costly than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just make sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits 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 ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Kodiak AK. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it can also earn 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. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Kodiak AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Kodiak AK health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Kodiak AK in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Kodiak AK home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school 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 sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Kodiak AK schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Kodiak AK area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Kodiak X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate x-ray technician degree program is an important first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Kodiak Alaska.