So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Steele Creek AK in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you must 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 explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Steele Creek AK hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with 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 plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned 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 prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Steele Creek AK or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alaska or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many provide additional options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Steele Creek AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a component of every 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 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 typically performed in Steele Creek AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just confirm that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Steele Creek AK. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of 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 an extensive review of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Steele Creek AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the xray technician programs you are reviewing have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Steele Creek AK healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Steele Creek AK in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Steele Creek AK residence. Individuals who have decided 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 importance. 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 generally 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.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Steele Creek AK schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Steele Creek AK area, make certain 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, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Steele Creek X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the best radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward launching a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Steele Creek Alaska.