So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Meadow Lakes AK in order to train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the ideal college and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require training to pass a licensing exam. 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 prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Meadow Lakes AK clinics, hospitals, family 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 must take care of their equipment and also routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth 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 Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Meadow Lakes AK or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alaska or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many accept other alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Meadow Lakes AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically provided in Meadow Lakes AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just be sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Meadow Lakes AK. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded 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 gone through a rigorous review of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Meadow Lakes AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the xray tech programs you are assessing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Meadow Lakes AK medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Meadow Lakes AK in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Meadow Lakes AK residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally 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 perhaps out of your local area, you may have 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 don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Meadow Lakes AK colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Meadow Lakes AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Meadow Lakes X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the appropriate radiology technician school is a critical first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiographer in Meadow Lakes Alaska.