So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Lakes AK in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For example, you must find out whether or not 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 reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Lakes AK clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and regularly assess its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Lakes AK or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Lakes AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Lakes AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just be sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Lakes AK. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to make sure 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Lakes AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the radiology technician programs you are reviewing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Lakes AK health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Lakes AK in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Lakes AK home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Lakes AK schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lakes AK area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Lakes X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the ideal radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward launching a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements 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. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are looking at before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the right education and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiographer in Lakes Alaska.