So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Lakes AK so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the ideal school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Lakes AK clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The basic 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, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Lakes 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 practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many accept other options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Lakes AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied 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 schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Lakes AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often more affordable than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Lakes AK. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to verify that the school and program 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Lakes AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the xray tech colleges you are evaluating have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Lakes AK medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Lakes AK in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Lakes AK residence. Those who have chosen 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Lakes AK schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lakes AK area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Lakes X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the right radiology tech school is an important first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Lakes Alaska.