How to Find an Xray Technician School near Atascadero California
Congrats on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Atascadero CA in order to train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the right college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you assess each of the colleges you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifications also. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Atascadero CA hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and also regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Atascadero CA medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The standard requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that Atascadero CA radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in California or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number provide additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many Atascadero CA employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually carried out in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Atascadero CA home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just confirm 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 ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Schools
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing Atascadero CA x-ray technician colleges. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still important to make sure 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous review of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. 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 help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Atascadero CA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the California radiology technician schools you are reviewing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Atascadero CA medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Atascadero CA 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 pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Atascadero CA residence. Students who have opted 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 concern. 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Atascadero CA colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Atascadero CA, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Radiologic Technologist?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask radiographer prospects is "What compelled you to decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a radiology technician, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you must ready several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal X-Ray Tech Program near Atascadero CA
Choosing the best radiology tech school is an important first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Atascadero CA.
Some Background on Atascadero California
Atascadero is a city in San Luis Obispo County, California, about equidistant from Los Angeles and San Francisco on U.S. Route 101. Atascadero is part of the San Luis Obispo - Atascadero - Paso Robles metropolitan area. Atascadero is farther inland than most other cities in the county, and as a result, usually experiences warmer, drier summers, and cooler winters than other nearby cities such as San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach. The main freeway through town is the US 101. The nearby State Routes 41 and 46 provide access to the Pacific Coast and the California Central Valley.
Founded by E.G. Lewis in 1913, the city grew to 29,096 people as of 2013.
Atascadero is a Spanish word loosely translated as bog, from the verb "atascar" which means to become stuck or hindered. Also, in the Chumash language, Atascadero translates into a place of much water.
The area was originally home to the Salinan Indians. In the half century between 1769 and 1823 the Spanish Franciscans established 21 missions along the California coast, including the nearby Mission San Miguel Arcángel, and Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. In 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain, and California became a Mexican province. In 1833, the Mexican government secularized the mission lands. Mexican Governor Juan Alvarado granted Rancho Atascadero to Trifon Garcia in 1842, and Pio Pico granted Pedro Estrada Rancho Asuncion in 1845. Patrick Washington Murphy held ownership of 61,000 acres (25,000 ha) at one time.
Edward Gardner Lewis, a magazine publisher from the East, founded Atascadero in 1913 as a utopian, planned colony. He had previously created such a community, at University City, Missouri. After purchasing the Atascadero Ranch in 1912, Lewis put together a group of investors, paid J.H. Henry $37.50 per acre ($93/ha), and celebrated acquisition of the ranch on July 4, 1913. As investors came to homestead the land that they had bought with their down payments, the area was transformed into a "tent city" with tents situated on land now occupied by Century Plaza and Bank of America. Lewis employed the services of experts in agriculture, engineering and city planning to develop his dream colony for the anticipated 30,000 residents. In 1914 the land was surveyed and subdivided. Thousands of acres of orchards were planted, a water system was installed, and construction began on an 18 mi (29 km) road (now Highway 41 west) through the Santa Lucia Mountains to the ocean (Morro Bay), where Lewis built cottages and a beachfront hotel called the Cloisters.
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