How to Select the Right X-Ray Tech College near Fairbanks Alaska
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fairbanks AK in order to become a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Job Summary in Fairbanks AK
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical major job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize 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 also routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees near Fairbanks AK
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Fairbanks AK or their area. After 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 practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve additional options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many Fairbanks area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Fairbanks AK to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically 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 residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less costly than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just be sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
When you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Fairbanks AK. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Fairbanks AK employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are assessing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Fairbanks AK health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Fairbanks AK in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Fairbanks AK residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Fairbanks AK colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Fairbanks AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Fairbanks AK?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Fairbanks AK, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska. 2016 estimates put the population of the city proper at 32,751, and the population of the Fairbanks North Star Borough at 100,605, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Alaska (after Anchorage). The Metropolitan Statistical Area encompasses all of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and is the northernmost Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States, located 196 driving miles (or 140 air miles) south of the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the founding campus of the University of Alaska system.
Though there was never a permanent Alaska Native settlement at the site of Fairbanks, Athabascan peoples have used the area for thousands of years. An archaeological site excavated on the grounds of the University of Alaska Fairbanks uncovered a Native camp about 3,500 years old. From evidence gathered at the site, archaeologists surmise that Native activities in the area were limited to seasonal hunting and fishing. In addition, archeological sites on the grounds of nearby Fort Wainwright date back 10,000 years. Arrowheads excavated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks site matched similar items found in Asia, providing some of the first evidence that humans arrived in North America via the land bridge.
Captain E. T. Barnette founded Fairbanks in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross (or Tanana Crossing, where the Valdez–Eagle trail crossed the Tanana River), where he intended to set up a trading post. The steamboat on which Barnette was a passenger, the Lavelle Young, ran aground while attempting to negotiate shallow water. Barnette, along with his party and supplies, were deposited along the banks of the Chena River 7 miles (11 km) upstream from its confluence with the Tanana River. The sight of smoke from the steamer's engines caught the attention of gold prospectors working in the hills to the north, most notably an Italian immigrant named Felice Pedroni (better known as Felix Pedro) and his partner Tom Gilmore. The two met Barnette where he disembarked and convinced him of the potential of the area. Barnette set up his trading post at the site, still intending to eventually make it to Tanacross. Teams of gold prospectors soon congregated in and around the newly founded Fairbanks; they built drift mines, dredges, and lode mines in addition to panning and sluicing.
After some urging by James Wickersham, who later moved the seat of the Third Division court from Eagle to Fairbanks, the settlement was named after Charles W. Fairbanks, a Republican senator from Indiana and later the twenty-sixth Vice President of the United States, serving under Theodore Roosevelt during his second term.
Find the Right Radiography Tech School Fairbanks AK
Choosing the right radiology tech college is an important first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiography Tech School. However, as we have addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your options 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 Fairbanks AK.
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