So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Wasilla AK in order to become a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Wasilla AK clinics, hospitals, family 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 must maintain their equipment and routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are also 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.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. 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, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Wasilla 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 practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept other options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Wasilla AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Wasilla AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Schools
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of finding and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Wasilla AK. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? 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 before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance 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 quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Wasilla AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech schools you are evaluating have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Wasilla AK medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Wasilla AK in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Wasilla AK residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Wasilla AK colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Wasilla AK area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative 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 may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Wasilla X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Wasilla Alaska.