How to Pick a Radiologic Technician College near Palmer Alaska
Best wishes on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Palmer AK in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it’s essential that you research each of the schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the colleges you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize 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 there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Palmer AK clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize 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 plus regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Palmer AK health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that Palmer AK radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several offer other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Palmer AK employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance 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 exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often performed in regional family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Palmer AK residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just be sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of locating and evaluating Palmer AK x-ray technician schools. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still imperative to make sure 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Palmer AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the Alaska radiology tech schools you are reviewing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Palmer AK health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Palmer AK healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Palmer AK home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may 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 for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Palmer AK schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer school you finally choose 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 Palmer AK, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Become an X-Ray Tech?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask radiographer prospects is "What made you decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a radiology technician, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Enroll in the Right X-Ray Tech College near Palmer AK
Enrolling in the ideal radiology technician college is a critical first step toward launching a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiographer in Palmer AK.
Some Background on Palmer Alaska
Palmer is the borough seat of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Anchorage Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 5,937.
The first people to live in the Matanuska Valley, where Palmer is located, were the Dena'ina and Ahtna Athabaskans. They moved throughout the area, living a subsistence lifestyle and trading with other native groups. Their trade routes were along the Matanuska River. Russians came to Alaska in 1741 and brought the Russian Orthodox religious tradition to the indigenous peoples of the region. In the early 1890s, an entrepreneur named George W. Palmer built a trading post on the Matanuska River, near present-day Palmer. The town was later named after Palmer.
In the late 19th century, the U.S. government began to take interest in the Matanuska coal fields located north of Palmer. This interest sparked financiers to consider constructing the Alaska Central Railroad in 1904. The advent of World War I created a need for high quality coal to fuel U.S. battleships, and by 1917 the US Navy had constructed rail from the port of Seward to the Chickaloon coal deposits. At the end of World War I, the U.S. Navy distributed land in the coal fields to war veterans and additional land was opened to homesteading. Farmers, miners and homesteaders began to populate the area. The Palmer Post Office was opened July 6, 1917 under the name of Warton. With railroad accessibility, new markets for agriculture began to open up for farmers in the Matanuska Valley.
In one year, Palmer transformed from a mere whistle stop rail siding to a planned community with modern utilities and community services. Eleven million dollars from Federal Emergency Relief Administration was spent to create the town of Palmer and relocate 203 families from the hard hit Iron Range region of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Families traveled by train and ship to Palmer, arriving in May 1935. Upon their arrival they were housed in a tent city during their first Alaskan summer. Each family drew lots for 40-acre (160,000 m2) tracts and their farming adventure began in earnest. The failure rate was high, but many of their descendants still live in the area and there are still many operating farms in the Palmer area, including the Vanderwheele and Wolverine farms. In 1971, the National Outdoor Leadership School started operating wilderness education courses in the nearby Talkeetna and Chugach mountain ranges from a local historic farmhouse, the Berry House, which is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In addition to an agrarian heritage, the colony families brought with them Midwest America's small-town values, institutional structures, and a well-planned city center reminiscent of their old hometowns in Minnesota. Many of the structures built are now in a nationally recognized historic district. Construction of the statewide road system and the rapid development of Anchorage has fueled growth around Palmer. Many Palmer residents commute 45 minutes to work in Anchorage.
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