So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Tanaina AK in order to become a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the right school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers also. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
Radiology Tech Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical major job function, 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 the treatment of cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Tanaina AK hospitals, clinics, family 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 and also regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally 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 Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school 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 technicians, normally requires 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 four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Tanaina AK or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alaska or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many offer additional options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Tanaina AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical 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 amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically provided in Tanaina AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally less costly than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just make certain that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Tanaina AK. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Tanaina AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray technician programs you are interested in have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Tanaina AK medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Tanaina AK in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask 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 a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Tanaina AK home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Tanaina AK schools you are reviewing 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer school you finally select can furnish 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 Tanaina AK area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out 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 Best Tanaina X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the best x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines 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. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Tanaina Alaska.