How to Pick a Radiology Tech Program near Fairbanks Alaska
Best wishes on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Fairbanks AK so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you tackle picking the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are other important qualifications also. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same major job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics, family 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 maintain their equipment plus frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Fairbanks AK medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete 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. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that Fairbanks AK radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many provide additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous Fairbanks AK employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a part of every 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 although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is typically provided in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Fairbanks AK home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just make sure 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 structured type of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of finding and evaluating Fairbanks AK x-ray tech colleges. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to make sure that the program and school 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 review of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive 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. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Fairbanks AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the Alaska xray technician programs you are assessing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Fairbanks AK healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Fairbanks AK healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Fairbanks AK home. Individuals who have chosen 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 concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program 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 usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Fairbanks AK schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the x-ray tech program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Fairbanks AK, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become an Xray Technician?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask radiographer prospects is "What made you decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being an Xray technician, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Enroll in the Right X-Ray Technician College near Fairbanks AK
Picking the best radiology technician school is an important first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the right education and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Fairbanks AK.
Some Background on Fairbanks Alaska
Fairbanks /ˈfɛrbæŋks/ is a home rule city and the borough seat of the Fairbanks North Star Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska.
Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska. 2014 estimates put the population of the city proper at 32,469, and 2016 estimates put the population of the Fairbanks North Star Borough at 100,605, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Alaska (after Anchorage). The Metropolitan Statistical Area encompasses all of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and is the northernmost Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States, located less than 120 miles (190 km) south of the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the founding campus of the University of Alaska system.
Captain E. T. Barnette founded Fairbanks in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross (or Tanana Crossing, where the Valdez–Eagle trail crossed the Tanana River), where he intended to set up a trading post. The steamboat on which Barnette was a passenger, the Lavelle Young, ran aground while attempting to negotiate shallow water. Barnette, along with his party and supplies, were deposited along the banks of the Chena River 7 miles (11 km) upstream from its confluence with the Tanana River. The sight of smoke from the steamer's engines caught the attention of gold prospectors working in the hills to the north, most notably an Italian immigrant named Felice Pedroni (better known as Felix Pedro) and his partner Tom Gilmore. The two met Barnette where he disembarked and convinced him of the potential of the area. Barnette set up his trading post at the site, still intending to eventually make it to Tanacross. Teams of gold prospectors soon congregated in and around the newly founded Fairbanks; they built drift mines, dredges, and lode mines in addition to panning and sluicing.
After some urging by James Wickersham, who later moved the seat of the Third Division court from Eagle to Fairbanks, the settlement was named after Charles W. Fairbanks, a Republican senator from Indiana and later the twenty-sixth Vice President of the United States, serving under Theodore Roosevelt during his second term.
In these early years of settlement, the Tanana Valley was an important agricultural center for Alaska until the establishment of the Matanuska Valley Colonization Project and the town of Palmer in 1935. Agricultural activity still occurs today in the Tanana Valley, but mostly to the southeast of Fairbanks in the communities of Salcha and Delta Junction. During the early days of Fairbanks, its vicinity was a major producer of agricultural goods. What is now the northern reaches of South Fairbanks was originally the farm of Paul J. Rickert, who came from nearby Chena in 1904 and operated a large farm until his death in 1938. Farmers Loop Road and Badger Road, loop roads north and east (respectively) of Fairbanks, were also home to major farming activity. Badger Road is named for Harry Markley Badger, an early resident of Fairbanks who later established a farm along the road and became known as "the Strawberry King". Ballaine and McGrath Roads, side roads of Farmers Loop Road, were also named for prominent local farmers, whose farms were located in the immediate vicinity of their respective namesake roads. Despite early efforts by the Alaska Loyal League, the Tanana Valley Agriculture Association and William Fentress Thompson, the editor-publisher of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, to encourage food production, agriculture in the area was never able to fully support the population, although it came close in the 1920s.
More Cities of Interest in Alaska