So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Kodiak AK so you can learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the right school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Kodiak AK clinics, hospitals, private 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 must take care of their equipment plus routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Kodiak AK or their area. 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 practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Kodiak AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Kodiak AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally cheaper than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online school you pick 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 right choice for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Kodiak AK. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance 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 securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Kodiak AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the radiology tech colleges you are reviewing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Kodiak AK medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Kodiak AK in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Kodiak AK residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously 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 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Kodiak AK schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Kodiak AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Kodiak X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the appropriate radiology tech college is a crucial first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Kodiak Alaska.