So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Nikiski AK in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Most prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are additional critical qualifications also. For instance, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has 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 administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Nikiski AK hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment plus regularly analyze 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.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Nikiski 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.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. At present, 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 alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Nikiski AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Nikiski AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online school you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Nikiski AK. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Nikiski AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the radiology technician schools you are reviewing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Nikiski AK medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Nikiski AK in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Nikiski AK residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Nikiski AK colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Nikiski AK area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Nikiski X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the right x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Nikiski Alaska.