So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Kodiak AK so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the right college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Kodiak AK clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 performance and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Kodiak AK or their region. 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 practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many offer other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Kodiak AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Kodiak AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Kodiak AK. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to confirm that the school and program 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 an extensive examination of their instructors and course 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 agencies should be acknowledged 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 assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Kodiak AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are assessing have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Kodiak AK medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Kodiak AK in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good 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 School Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Kodiak AK residence. Those 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 concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Kodiak AK schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Kodiak AK area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Kodiak X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the right x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or travel 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 proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Kodiak Alaska.