So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Lakes AK so you can become a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Lakes AK hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and also frequently assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in 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 typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Lakes AK or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many approve additional options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Lakes AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically provided in Lakes AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages 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 ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
When you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing x-ray tech schools near Lakes AK. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among 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 undergone a detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Lakes AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are assessing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Lakes AK health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Lakes AK in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Lakes AK residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Lakes AK schools you are considering 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 an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide 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 offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol 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 x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Lakes Alaska.