How to Select a Radiology Technician Program near Soldotna Alaska
Congrats regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Soldotna AK in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you tackle picking the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the colleges you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other important qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Career Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Soldotna AK clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with 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 plus regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Soldotna AK medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that Soldotna AK radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. 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 practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many Soldotna AK employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often provided in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Soldotna AK home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Schools
After you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and assessing Soldotna AK x-ray technician schools. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still crucial to make sure that the school and program 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. 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 premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Soldotna AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the Alaska radiology technician colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Soldotna AK health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Soldotna AK healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Soldotna AK home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Soldotna AK colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the x-ray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the x-ray tech school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Soldotna AK, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out 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 Decide to Be an X-Ray Tech?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask radiographer candidates is "What compelled you to choose radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being an X-Ray tech, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Choose the Best X-Ray Tech College near Soldotna AK
Picking the ideal x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians 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 possible patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Soldotna AK.
Some Background on Soldotna Alaska
Soldotna is a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, in the U.S. State of Alaska. At the 2010 census the population was 4,163. It is the seat of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
Soldotna is located in the Southcentral portion of Alaska on the central-western portion of the Kenai Peninsula. The city limits span 7 square miles along the Kenai River, which empties into the Cook Inlet in the nearby city of Kenai. The Kenai River was selected by CNN Travel as one of the "World's 15 Best Rivers for Travelers," due to its fishing and hunting opportunities. Soldotna is located on the western edge of the vast Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, a protected area spanning nearly 2 million acres and home to bears, moose, caribou, sheep, and many fish and bird species.
The city is located at the junction of the Sterling Highway and the Kenai Spur Highway, which has enabled Soldotna to develop as a service and retail hub for the Central Peninsula as well as for travelers between Anchorage and Homer. The Central Peninsula Hospital serves the medical needs of the region's residents and tourists. The Kenai Peninsula College, a branch of the University of Alaska Anchorage, operates the Kenai River Campus in Soldotna. Additionally, the headquarters of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, the Kenai Peninsula Borough, and the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District are located in the city.
In 1947, after World War II, the United States government withdrew a number of townships along Cook Inlet and the lower Kenai River from the Kenai National Moose Range, opening up the area to settlement under the Homestead Act. Veterans of the United States armed services were given a 90-day preference over non-veterans in selecting land and filing for property. Also in that year, the Sterling Highway right-of-way was cleared of trees from Cooper Landing to Kenai. The location of present-day Soldotna was selected as the site for the highway's bridge crossing the Kenai River.
The construction of the Sterling Highway provided a link from the Soldotna area to the outside world. More homesteads were taken and visitors came to fish in the area. The Soldotna Post Office opened in 1949 and other businesses opened in the next few years.
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