How to Select a Radiologic Tech Degree Program near Girdwood Alaska
Congrats on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Girdwood AK so you can become a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need training 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 potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are other important qualifications as well. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Girdwood AK clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and also regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Girdwood AK medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that Girdwood AK radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their area. Once 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 working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept other alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous Girdwood AK employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically performed in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Girdwood AK home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating Girdwood AK x-ray technician colleges. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still crucial to verify that the school and program 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Girdwood AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the Alaska xray technician programs you are assessing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Girdwood AK healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Girdwood AK healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Girdwood AK home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 perhaps out of your local area, you might 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 type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Girdwood AK schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the x-ray tech college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Girdwood AK, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out 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 due to work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask radiographer candidates is "What drove you to decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being an X-Ray tech, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Enroll in the Right Radiology Technician College near Girdwood AK
Choosing the best x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Girdwood AK.
Some Background on Girdwood Alaska
Girdwood is a resort town within the southern extent of the Municipality of Anchorage in the state of Alaska. Located near the end of the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet, Girdwood lies in a valley in the southwestern Chugach Mountains, surrounded by seven glaciers feeding into a number of creeks, which either converge within the valley or empty directly into the arm. Girdwood is typically accessed by the Seward Highway (Milepost 90), with the main line of the Alaska Railroad paralleling the highway. By road distance, most of the community lies within 35 to 40 miles (56 to 64 km) of downtown Anchorage. According to 2014 estimates, a little under 2,000 people live in the valley.
Founded as a community to supply miners during the Turnagain Arm gold rushes of the 1890s, Girdwood was mostly a small, quiet place until the middle of the 20th century. Two events drastically altered that. The first was the establishment of Alyeska Resort along the slopes of Mount Alyeska, which became an international destination coincidental with Anchorage's civic promotion of itself as "The Air Crossroads of the World". The second was the 1964 earthquake, which devastated the original townsite located directly along the arm. Following the earthquake, most of the town moved further up the valley to a new townsite, though a few homes remained and a strip mall was later constructed along the Seward Highway. Historically dominated in the years since the resort's opening by seasonally-occupied vacation homes and seasonal activity at the resort, the opening of the Alyeska Prince Hotel during the 1990s has shifted the resort, and hence Girdwood as a whole, more towards year-round activity and a year-round economy. This has led to periodic debates about community growth and affordability of housing for resort workers, many of whom over the years have resorted to camping illegally on public lands.
Girdwood still revolves heavily around seasonal activity, with skiing and snowboarding at Alyeska Resort bringing visitors and their money into the community. Summer activities are also popular, which include hiking, fishing and rafting. The Girdwood Forest Fair, held every July, is the community's most significant visitor attraction apart from resort-related activities. Girdwood is located within the northernmost extent of rain forest on Earth, and also serves as the closest point of access to Chugach National Forest from Anchorage proper.
Originally called "Glacier City," Girdwood was founded as a supply camp for placer gold miners with claims along the creeks feeding Turnagain Arm. It was renamed for Colonel James Girdwood, a Belfast-born, Scots-Irish entrepreneur and linen merchant who staked the first four gold claims along Crow Creek in 1896.
The town was moved 2.5 miles (4.0 km) up the valley after the devastating Good Friday earthquake of 1964, when the land under the original townsite subsided into Turnagain Arm, putting much of the town below high tide. The nearby settlement of Alyeska was abandoned and most of its inhabitants moved to the new Girdwood townsite as well. The land has not all since been reclaimed, as one can still see 'drowned' cabins in the marshy areas where the city formerly extended. Significant earthquakes are a relatively common occurrence for Girdwood and the Kenai peninsula. Evidence indicates the area has seen six major quakes in the past 3300 years.
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