How to Select a Radiologic Technician Program near Anchorage Alaska
Congrats on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Anchorage AK so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you research each of the colleges you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the colleges you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical 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 may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Anchorage AK hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might 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 plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Anchorage AK medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that Anchorage AK radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact 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 several accept other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous Anchorage AK employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Anchorage AK home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often less expensive than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just confirm that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
After you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing Anchorage AK x-ray tech schools. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray tech schools have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Anchorage AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the Alaska radiology tech programs you are assessing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Anchorage AK medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Anchorage AK healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Anchorage AK home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Anchorage AK colleges you are looking at what the average 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the x-ray tech school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Anchorage AK, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask radiographer prospects is "What compelled you to pick radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a radiology technician, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Radiology Tech College near Anchorage AK
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Anchorage AK.
Some Background on Anchorage Alaska
Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage) (Dena'ina Athabascan: Dgheyaytnu) is a unified home rule municipality in the U.S. state of Alaska. With an estimated 298,192 residents in 2016, it is Alaska's most populous city and contains more than 40 percent of the state's total population; among the 50 states, only New York has a higher percentage of residents who live in its most populous city. All together, the Anchorage metropolitan area, which combines Anchorage with the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough, had a population of 401,635 in 2016, which accounts for more than half of the state's population.
Anchorage is located in the south-central portion of Alaska, at the terminus of the Cook Inlet, on a peninsula formed by the Knik Arm to the north and the Turnagain Arm to the south. The city limits span 1,961.1 square miles (5,079.2 km2) which encompass the urban core, a joint military base, several outlying communities and almost all of Chugach State Park.
Due to its location on the globe, being almost equidistant from New York City, Frankfurt, and Tokyo, Anchorage lies within 9 1⁄2 hours by air to nearly 90% of the industrialized world. For this reason, the Anchorage International Airport is a common refueling stop for many international flights and is home to a major FedEx Hub which the company calls a "critical part" of its global network of services.
Anchorage has been named an All-America City four times, in 1956, 1965, 1984–85, and 2002, by the National Civic League. It has also been named by Kiplinger as the most tax-friendly city in the United States.
Russian presence in south central Alaska was well established in the 19th century. In 1867, U. S. Secretary of State William H. Seward brokered a deal to purchase Alaska from Imperial Russia for $7.2 million (about two cents an acre). His political rivals lampooned the deal as "Seward's folly," "Seward's icebox," and "Walrussia." By 1888, gold was discovered along Turnagain Arm.
More Cities of Interest in Alaska