How to Choose a Radiology Technician College near Elmendorf Afb Alaska
Congratulations regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Elmendorf Afb AK so you can become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about choosing the right school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s imperative that you research each of the schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the colleges you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may practice in Elmendorf Afb AK hospitals, clinics, 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 maintain their equipment and routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Elmendorf Afb AK health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that Elmendorf Afb AK radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several accept additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous Elmendorf Afb AK employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually provided in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Elmendorf Afb AK residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often more affordable than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Colleges
When you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and assessing Elmendorf Afb AK x-ray technician colleges. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute 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 expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still crucial to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might 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. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Elmendorf Afb AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the Alaska xray tech schools you are reviewing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Elmendorf Afb AK health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Elmendorf Afb AK healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Elmendorf Afb AK home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something 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 might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Elmendorf Afb AK schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Elmendorf Afb AK, verify 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 carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Be a Radiology Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask radiographer candidates is "What drove you to select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Best X-Ray Technician School near Elmendorf Afb AK
Enrolling in the right radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are considering before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Elmendorf Afb AK.
Some Background on Elmendorf Afb Alaska
Fort Richardson (Alaska)
Fort Richardson was a United States Army installation in the U.S. state of Alaska, adjacent to the city of Anchorage. In 2010, it was merged with nearby Elmendorf Air Force Base to form Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Fort Richardson was named for the military pioneer explorer, Brig. Gen. Wilds P. Richardson, who served three tours of duty in the rugged Alaska territory between 1897 and 1917. Richardson, a native Texan and an 1884 West Point graduate, commanded troops along the Yukon River and supervised construction of Fort Egbert near Eagle, and Fort William H. Seward (Chilkoot Barracks) near Haines. As head of the War Department's Alaska Road Commission from 1905 to 1917, he was responsible for much of the surveying and building of early railroads, roads and bridges that helped the state’s settlement and growth. The Valdez-Fairbanks Trail, surveyed under his direction in 1904, was named the Richardson Highway in his honor.
During World War II, Fort Richardson was used briefly as a holding center for several family members of Alaskan Japanese Americans arrested after Pearl Harbor. Fifteen Japanese Americans and two German Americans were interned here before being transferred to other camps. Built during 1940-1941 on the site of what is now Elmendorf Air Force Base and established as the headquarters of the United States Army, Alaska (USARAK) in 1947, the post moved to its present location five miles (8 km) northeast of Anchorage in 1950. The post then had barracks for 500 soldiers, a rifle range, a few warehouses, a hospital, and bachelor officer quarters. From 1986-1994 the fort was headquarters of the 6th Infantry Division (Light). Fort Richardson is now headquarters for United States Army Alaska (USARAK), a subordinate unit of United States Army Pacific Command. For more than a decade, the major combat unit at Fort Richardson was Task Force 1-501, the only airborne infantry battalion in the Pacific Theater. Task Force 1-501 deployed to Afghanistan from October 2003 through August 2004.
The majority of USARAK combat forces were at Fort Wainwright, 300 miles to the north, with Fort Richardson as the primary support base.
During the Army's expansion following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Task Force 1-501 was expanded into an airborne brigade. Flagged as 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, the unit is now the primary strategic response force for the Pacific Theater. It comprises two infantry battalions, an engineer battalion, one cavalry squadron, a small artillery battalion, and a support battalion. A full range of family and soldier support facilities common to any small Army community are found on post, ranging from a shoppette to childcare and recreational facilities. The post has small but modern dental and medical clinics, and receives major medical services from the 3rd Medical Group hospital at Elmendorf. The Joint Military Mall, also located on Elmendorf, provides post exchange and commissary services.
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