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Radiologic Technician Courses
 How to Choose the Right One Near Anchorage Alaska

Anchorage Alaska x ray tech and physician reviewing x rayYou are about to start down a career path that will be rewarding both personally and monetarily as a medical specialist when you enroll in an X-ray tech school near Anchorage AK. But exactly how do you go about finding and selecting the best school and degree program so that you are fully trained and ready to begin your career of providing superior healthcare services? And because most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you compare the schools on your short list by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each of their X-ray tech programs. Most potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. As an example, you should ask if the schools sponsor internship programs, or if the radiology technician colleges have received any accreditations. Later in this article we will provide a complete list of questions that you should ask the X-ray Technician schools you are evaluating before making your final selection. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.

It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Begin Your Career in Radiology

Radiology Tech Job Summary

There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Anchorage AK hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:

  • Traditional and specialized X-Rays
  • Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Sonography or ultrasound
  • Fluoroscopy

Radiographers must maintain their equipment and regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.

Radiology Technician Degree Options

Anchorage Alaska radiology technician reviewing x rayThe primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option 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 depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to consider is that 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 internship or externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Anchorage AK or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alaska or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.

Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing

After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several accept additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous Anchorage area employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Anchorage AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.

Online X-Ray Technologist Classes

Anchorage Alaska woman attending online x ray tech coursesAs a part of every 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 colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Anchorage AK 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 Anchorage residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. 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 ideal choice for you.

Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs

After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Anchorage AK. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at 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 learn some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.

Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to verify 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. 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 assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Anchorage AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the radiology technician colleges you are reviewing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Anchorage AK health care community and assist with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Anchorage AK in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Anchorage AK home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Anchorage AK schools you are considering what the average 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 an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.

Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech  college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Anchorage AK area, make sure 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 have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Learn More on How to Become an Radiology Technician in Anchorage

Enroll in the Best Anchorage Radiology Tech Program

Picking the best radiology tech school is a critical first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiographer in Anchorage Alaska.




 

Anchorage Radiologic Technician Schools | Anchorage Radiology Tech Schools