How to Choose the Right Radiologic Technician College near Homer Alaska
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Homer AK so you can learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about selecting the right college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary in Homer AK
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Homer AK clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and also routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered near Homer AK
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have earned 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 prevalent among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Homer AK or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alaska or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several approve additional options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous Homer area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Homer AK to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in Homer AK family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Homer residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally cheaper than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. 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 type of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Homer AK. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still imperative to confirm that the school and program 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive review of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Homer AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray technician programs you are evaluating have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Homer AK healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Homer 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 an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Homer AK residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online 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 even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Homer AK schools you are considering 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Homer AK area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Homer AK?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Homer AK, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Homer is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is 218 miles southwest of Anchorage. According to the 2010 Census, the population is 5,003, up from 3,946 in 2000. Long known as The "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World." Homer is also nicknamed "the end of the road," and more recently, "the cosmic hamlet by the sea."
Homer is on the shore of Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. Its distinguishing feature is the Homer Spit, a narrow 4.5 mi (7.2 km)) long gravel bar that extends into the bay, on which is located the Homer Harbor.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.4 square miles (58 km2), of which 10.6 square miles (27 km2) is land and 11.9 square miles (31 km2) is water. The total area is 52.83% water.
As with much of South Central Alaska, Homer has a moderate subarctic coastal climate (Köppen Dsc) which causes its weather to be moderate compared to interior Alaska. Winters are snowy and long but not particularly cold, considering the latitude, with the average January high only slightly below freezing. Snow averages 50 inches (127 cm) per season, falling primarily from November through March, with some accumulation in October and April, and rarely in May. Homer receives only about 25 inches of rainfall annually due to the influence of the Chugach Mountains to the southeast which shelter it from the Gulf of Alaska. There are 7 nights of sub-0 °F (−18 °C) lows annually, and the area straddles the border between USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5B and 6A, indicating an average annual minimum of around −10 °F (−23 °C). Summers are cool due to the marine influence, with 75 °F (24 °C) highs or 55 °F (13 °C) lows being extremely rare. Extreme temperatures have ranged from −24 °F (−31 °C) on January 28–29, 1989 up to 84 °F (29 °C) on July 22, 2011.
Find the Right Schools That Offer X Ray Tech Homer AK
Selecting the ideal radiology tech school is a crucial first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray 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. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Schools That Offer X Ray Tech. However, as we have discussed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Homer AK.
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