So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Wasilla AK in order to train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake picking the right college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Most students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifiers as well. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Wasilla AK hospitals, clinics, 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 must care for their equipment plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Wasilla AK or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many accept other options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Wasilla AK to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to 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 exam.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often conducted in Wasilla AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often cheaper than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages 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 best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Wasilla AK. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to make sure 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Wasilla AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are evaluating have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Wasilla AK medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Wasilla AK in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Wasilla AK residence. 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. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Wasilla AK colleges you are considering 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose 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 available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Wasilla X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the appropriate radiology tech school is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the right training and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Wasilla Alaska.