So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Palmer AK in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications also. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Palmer AK hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and also routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required 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 basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Palmer AK or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many approve other options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Palmer AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Palmer AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just make sure that the online school you enroll in 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 degree may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
When you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Palmer AK. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the school and program 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Palmer AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology tech colleges you are assessing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Palmer AK healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Palmer AK in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Palmer AK residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Palmer AK colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Palmer AK area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Palmer X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the appropriate radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are assessing before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or drive 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 proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Palmer Alaska.