So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Meadow Lakes AK in order to train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can 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 settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Meadow Lakes AK clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may 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 and regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have received 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 technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Meadow Lakes AK or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many accept additional options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Meadow 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 examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often carried out in Meadow Lakes AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Programs
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Meadow Lakes AK. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing 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 crucial details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to verify 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through 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 targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized 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 acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Meadow Lakes AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology technician colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Meadow Lakes AK medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Meadow Lakes AK in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Meadow Lakes AK home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Meadow Lakes AK schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Meadow Lakes AK area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Meadow Lakes X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the right radiology tech school is an important first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements 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 interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in 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 final choice. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Meadow Lakes Alaska.