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 radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle selecting the ideal school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are other critical qualifiers also. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to use 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 elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Meadow Lakes AK clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize 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 also regularly assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually 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 scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges 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 offer through local clinics and hospitals in Meadow Lakes AK or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Meadow Lakes AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often provided in Meadow Lakes AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online approach to education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just confirm that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Meadow Lakes AK. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded 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 assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain 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. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Meadow Lakes AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are reviewing have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Meadow Lakes AK health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Meadow Lakes AK in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing 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 graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Meadow Lakes AK home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for 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 undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Meadow Lakes AK schools you are looking at 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Meadow Lakes AK area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Meadow Lakes X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the right x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements 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 social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Meadow Lakes Alaska.