So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Wasilla AK in order to become a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending 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 considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must 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 credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same major job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Wasilla AK clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Wasilla AK or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many offer other options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might 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 examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually provided in Wasilla AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and assessing x-ray tech schools near Wasilla AK. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Wasilla AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Wasilla AK healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Wasilla AK in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Wasilla AK home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Wasilla AK colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Wasilla AK area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Wasilla X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the best radiology tech college is a critical first step toward starting a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed 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 interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive 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 college you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Wasilla Alaska.