How to Choose an X-Ray Tech College near Cordova Alaska
Best wishes regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Cordova AK in order to become a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you investigate each of the schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are other critical qualifications also. For instance, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the colleges you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Cordova 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 have to maintain their equipment plus routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Cordova AK medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable also. One thing to consider is that Cordova AK radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing 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 x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several offer additional options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many Cordova AK employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically performed in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Cordova AK residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just make sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and assessing Cordova AK x-ray technician schools. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Cordova AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the Alaska xray technician colleges you are interested in have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Cordova AK health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Cordova AK healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Cordova AK residence. Individuals who have decided 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Cordova AK colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the x-ray tech college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Cordova AK, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become an Xray Technician?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask radiographer prospects is "What drove you to select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being an X-Ray tech, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests 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 try to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Ideal Radiology Tech Program near Cordova AK
Enrolling in the right x-ray tech school is a critical first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Cordova AK.
Some Background on Cordova Alaska
Cordova /kɔːrˈdoʊvə/, /ˈkɔːrdəvɒ/ is a small town located near the mouth of the Copper River in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska, United States, at the head of Orca Inlet on the east side of Prince William Sound. The population was 2,239 at the 2010 census. Cordova was named Puerto Cordova by Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo in 1790. No roads connect Cordova to other Alaskan towns, so a plane or ferry is required to travel there. In the Exxon Valdez oil spill of March 1989, an oil tanker ran aground northwest of Cordova, heavily damaging ecology and fishing.
In 1790 the inlet in front of the current Cordova townsite was named Puerto Cordova by Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo, after Spanish admiral Luis de Córdova y Córdova. The town of Cordova was named after it, although the inlet itself was later renamed the Orca Inlet. Cordova proper was founded as a result of the discovery of high-grade copper ore at Kennecott, north of Cordova. A group of surveyors from Valdez laid out a town site and Michael James Heney purchased half the land for the terminus of the Copper River and Northwestern Railway after determining that the neighboring town of Katalla was a poor harbor. Heney and his crew held a brief ceremony to organize the town on March 26, 1906. A week later crews arrived to begin work on the railroad. The first lots in the new town site, which make up the heart of present-day Cordova, were sold at auction in May 1908. As the railroad grew, so did the town. Eventually schools, businesses, a hospital, and utilities were established. After the railroad was completed Cordova became the transportation hub for the ore coming out of Kennecott. In the years 1911 to 1938, more than 200 million tons of copper ore was transported through Cordova.
The area around Cordova was historically home to the Eyak, with a population of Chugach to the west, and occasional visits from Ahtna and Tlingit people for trade or battle. The last full-blooded Eyak Marie Smith Jones died in 2008, but the native traditions and lifestyle still has an influence on the local culture. Today Cordova is populated with a mix of races, including Aleut Natives, Filipinos, and Caucasian European – North Americans.
Cordova was also once the home of a booming razor clam industry, and between 1916 and the late 1950s it was known as the "Razor Clam Capital of the World". Commercial harvest in the area was as much as 3.5 million pounds. Returns began declining in the late 1950s, presumably due to overharvesting and a large die-off in 1958. The 1964 Good Friday earthquake effectively and completely obliterated the industry; in some areas, the ground was thrust up by as much as six feet, exposing the already depleted clam beds. There has been no commercial harvest in the area since 1988 with the exception of a brief harvest in 1993.
In March 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef northwest of Cordova causing one of the most devastating environmental disasters in North America. The Exxon Valdez oil spill severely affected the area's salmon and herring populations leading to a recession of the local fishing-reliant economy as well as disrupting the general ecology of the area. After many years of litigation, 450 million dollars were awarded for compensatory and punitive damages.
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