So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Nikiski AK so you can learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the ideal college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical 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 the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Nikiski AK clinics, hospitals, private 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 care for their equipment and frequently assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges 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 abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many provide other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Nikiski AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Nikiski AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Nikiski AK. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations 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 detailed examination of their instructors and course 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 agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Nikiski AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the xray technician colleges you are reviewing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Nikiski AK health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Nikiski AK in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Nikiski AK residence. Students who have chosen 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 concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Nikiski AK colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. 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 speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Nikiski AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Nikiski X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the best radiology technician college is an important first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Nikiski Alaska.