So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Kodiak AK in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the right school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications also. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical major job function, which is to use 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 choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Kodiak AK hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 care for their equipment and regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students 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 requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Kodiak AK or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alaska or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number provide other options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve 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 comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools 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 obtain your degree online, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Kodiak AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Colleges
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Kodiak AK. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies 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 rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Kodiak AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the xray technician schools you are evaluating have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Kodiak AK medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Kodiak AK in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Kodiak AK home. Those who have chosen 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Kodiak AK colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kodiak AK area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Kodiak X-Ray Tech School
Picking the best x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward beginning a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been addressed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Kodiak Alaska.