So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Lakes AK so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you tackle picking the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are additional important qualifications also. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance 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 have to care for their equipment plus regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Lakes AK or their area. After 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.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many accept additional options for testing also. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Lakes AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous 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 Radiology Tech Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Lakes AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online style of education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses 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 structured type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Lakes AK. You will also need to decide 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 critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial 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 an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Lakes AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Lakes AK health care community and help with job placement.
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 field can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Lakes AK home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may 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 don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Lakes AK colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Lakes AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option 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.
Enroll in the Right Lakes X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the appropriate x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this post, 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 equally true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Lakes Alaska.