How to Find a Radiologic Technician College in Alaska
Best wishes on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school in Alaska in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you set about picking the right school and program so 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 ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you assess each of the colleges you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Alaska 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 have to maintain their equipment and also frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Alaska medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that Alaska radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in 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 Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number offer other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Alaska employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a component of any degree program, Alaska x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often performed in regional family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Alaska home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just be sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating Alaska x-ray technician schools. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you should check 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 selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to confirm 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 an extensive review of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged 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 assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Alaska health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the Alaska xray tech programs you are assessing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Alaska health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Alaska home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally 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 keep in mind is that if you choose 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently 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 way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Alaska colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
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 especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Alaska, 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 credit hours or courses 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.
Select the Ideal Radiology Tech School in Alaska
Enrolling in the ideal radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Alaska.