How to Pick a Radiologic Tech College near Eagle River Alaska
Best wishes on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Eagle River AK in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake choosing the right college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you assess each of the schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, 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 discuss what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Job Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Eagle River AK hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Eagle River AK medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on 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. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that Eagle River AK radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many offer other options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Eagle River AK employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a part 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 colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically provided in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Eagle River AK home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online style of education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less costly than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just confirm 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 style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating Eagle River AK x-ray tech colleges. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of 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 an extensive examination of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Eagle River AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the Alaska radiology technician programs you are evaluating have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Eagle River AK medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Eagle River AK healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Eagle River AK home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 often 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 Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Eagle River AK colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Eagle River AK, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask radiographer candidates is "What drove you to select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming an Xray technician, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you must ready several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Select the Right Radiology Tech Program near Eagle River AK
Selecting the appropriate x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Eagle River AK.
Some Background on Eagle River Alaska
Eagle River, Anchorage
Eagle River is a community within the Municipality of Anchorage situated on the Eagle River for which it is named, between Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Chugach State Park in the Chugach Mountains. Its ZIP code is 99577. If Eagle River were not part of the Municipality of Anchorage, it would be classified as one of the five largest cities in Alaska.
The name Eagle River was first reported in 1939 by the U.S. Geological Survey. The Eagle River/Chugiak area was settled by homesteaders and prospered on agricultural activities. The Eagle River post office was established in 1961.
In spite of some local opposition, both Chugiak and Eagle River became annexed to the Municipality of Anchorage, when the City of Anchorage and the Greater Anchorage Area Borough were unified in 1975. Efforts to secede from the Municipality surfaced around 2000, but are no longer prominent as the community has seen an influx of individuals who have social and economic ties to Anchorage and the nearby Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson.
Neighborhoods along the Glenn Highway and Old Glenn Highway corridor are level or sloping, rising towards the Chugach Mountains east of the Old Glenn Highway. The remainder of the community lies along the canyon of the Eagle River; some neighborhoods built in the late 20th century and early 21st century near the Briggs Bridge are built very close to the bottom of the canyon. Neighborhoods along the northern portions of Eagle River, plus Hiland Road and Eagle River Road east of the curve where the road leaves the section line and descends into the canyon, mainly consist of houses built across the mountainsides. Wallace Mountain, on the far northeast corner of the community's road system, is home to several radio station transmitters and towers at the 1,900 feet (580 m) level.
Eagle River's average temperatures in January range from 6 to 20 degrees; in summer, temperatures range from 50 to 70. Annual precipitation is 15.9 inches, with 69 inches of snowfall. The bulk of the snowfall is usually from mid-October through December, with fewer snowstorms from January through April. On average, the area experiences 2 to 3 "chinooks" - a warm, dry wind that melts much of the snow and creates a minor thaw - during the winter months. Springtime is generally referred to as "break up" in the area and further north, referring to the breaking up of the ice on rivers and lakes. Local lore holds that seedlings should not be planted outdoors until after Memorial Day in May, and even then temperatures should be watched for light frost until June.
More Cities of Interest in Alaska