So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Steele Creek AK so you can become a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the right college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are additional important qualifiers also. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Steele Creek AK hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and also frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Steele Creek AK or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer other options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Steele Creek AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
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 earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often performed in Steele Creek AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online school you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Colleges
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Steele Creek AK. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to confirm 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Steele Creek AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology tech colleges you are assessing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Steele Creek AK health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Steele Creek AK in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Steele Creek AK home. Individuals who have decided 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps 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 frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Steele Creek AK colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Steele Creek AK area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Steele Creek X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the best radiology technician college is an important first step toward starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the right education and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Steele Creek Alaska.