So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Palmer AK so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications also. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Palmer AK hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might 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 plus regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate also. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Palmer AK or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several accept other alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Palmer AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges 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 earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Palmer AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just make certain that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of finding and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Palmer AK. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school 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 gone through an extensive review of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized 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 getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Palmer AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech schools you are evaluating have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Palmer AK healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Palmer AK in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Palmer AK home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Palmer AK colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Palmer AK area, make sure 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 have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Palmer X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the ideal x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Palmer Alaska.