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Radiology Tech Colleges
 How to Pick the Best One Near Fairbanks Alaska

Fairbanks Alaska x ray technician and doctor reviewing x rayYou are about to start down a career path that will be satisfying both personally and economically as a medical specialist when you enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fairbanks AK. But just how do you go about finding and selecting the right school and program so that you are properly trained and ready to begin your career of providing quality healthcare services? And depending on where you ultimately choose to practice, you will likely have to pass a licensing test since the majority of states do stipulate that x-ray techs become licensed. So it’s important that you compare the schools you are considering by evaluating the pros and cons of each of their X-ray tech programs. A number of potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Cost is also a consideration, and students often gravitate toward the school with the lowest tuition. But there are additional important qualifications apart from cost and location that should be part of the due diligence process as well. As an example, you should inquire about the sponsoring of internship programs, or if the radiology tech colleges have received any accreditations. These questions and others that you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.

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

Radiology Tech Occupation Summary

There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to use 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 elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with include:

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

Radiographers must care for their equipment and routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.

X-Ray Tech Degree Options

Fairbanks Alaska radiology tech reviewing x rayThe primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete 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. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Fairbanks AK or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.

X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification

After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many accept other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, many Fairbanks area employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Fairbanks AK to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.

Online Radiology Technician Classes

Fairbanks Alaska woman enrolled in online x ray technician classesAs a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often performed in Fairbanks AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Fairbanks home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools

Once you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Fairbanks AK. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.

Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous review of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Fairbanks AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.

Are Internships Offered? Find out if the radiology tech colleges you are assessing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Fairbanks AK health care community and assist with job placement.

Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Fairbanks AK in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Fairbanks AK home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Fairbanks AK schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.

Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech  school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Fairbanks AK area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Learn More on How to Become an Radiology Technician in Fairbanks

Choose the Best Fairbanks Radiology Technician Program

Choosing the right radiology tech college is an important first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Fairbanks Alaska.




 

Fairbanks Radiologic Technician Schools | Fairbanks Radiology Tech Schools