So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Nikiski AK in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Nikiski AK clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and routinely 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 Tech Degrees Available
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon 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. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Nikiski AK or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alaska or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several offer 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 favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Nikiski AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be completed 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 schools. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
When you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Nikiski AK. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 undergone a rigorous review of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Nikiski AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are interested in have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Nikiski AK medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Nikiski AK in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing 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 corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Nikiski AK home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Nikiski AK schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student 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 a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Nikiski AK area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Nikiski X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the right radiology tech college is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the right education and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Nikiski Alaska.