How to Select a Radiology Tech College near Homer Alaska
Congratulations regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Homer AK in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you tackle selecting the right school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you assess each of the schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the colleges you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Homer 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 maintain their equipment and also frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Homer AK medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program 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 prevalent among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that Homer AK radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their area. Once you have graduated from one 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
After you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact 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 call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many Homer AK employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often conducted in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Homer AK home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Schools
When you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of finding and assessing Homer AK x-ray technician colleges. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still important 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment 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 organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Homer AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the Alaska xray tech programs you are reviewing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, 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 Homer AK healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Homer AK healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Homer AK residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Homer 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Homer AK, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Be an X-Ray Tech?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask radiographer prospects is "What drove you to choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being an Xray technician, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare several strategies 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 number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Enroll in the Ideal Radiology Technician Program near Homer AK
Picking the best x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements 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 good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Homer AK.
Some Background on Homer Alaska
Homer is a city located in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is two hundred and eighteen miles southwest of Anchorage. According to the 2010 Census, the population is 5,003. Long known as The "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World." Homer is also nicknamed "the end of the road," and more recently, "the cosmic hamlet by the sea."
Homer is located at 59°38'35" North, 151°31'33" West (59.643059, −151.525900). The only road into Homer is the Sterling Highway.
Homer is on the shore of Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. Its distinguishing feature is the Homer Spit, a narrow 4.5 mi (7.2 km)) long gravel bar that extends into the bay, on which is located the Homer Harbor.
Much of the coastline as well as the Homer Spit sank dramatically during the Good Friday earthquake in March 1964. After the earthquake, very little vegetation was able to survive on the Homer Spit.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.4 square miles (58 km2), of which 10.6 square miles (27 km2) is land and 11.9 square miles (31 km2) is water. The total area is 52.83% water.
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