So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Tanaina AK in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. A number of prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Tanaina AK clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment plus routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually 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. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Tanaina AK or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by 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 x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number offer other options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Tanaina AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a part 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 degree online, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Tanaina AK hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Programs
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Tanaina AK. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it might also earn 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. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Tanaina AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the xray technician schools you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Tanaina AK health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Tanaina AK in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Tanaina AK home. Students who have decided to attend online classes 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 keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Tanaina AK colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Tanaina AK area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Tanaina X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the right radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the right education and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Tanaina Alaska.