How to Select an Xray Technician School near Atherton California
Best wishes regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Atherton CA in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you assess each of the colleges you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to utilize 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. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Atherton CA hospitals, clinics, 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 care for their equipment and regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Atherton CA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that Atherton CA radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in California or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of 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 many offer other options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many Atherton CA employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical 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 large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically performed in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your Atherton CA home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make certain that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Colleges
When you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing Atherton CA x-ray technician schools. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Atherton CA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the California xray technician programs you are assessing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Atherton CA health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Atherton CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Atherton CA residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally 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 way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Atherton CA colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Atherton CA, make sure that they are available. 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, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Choose to Be an X-Ray Tech?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask radiographer prospects is "What compelled you to choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a radiology technician, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Radiology Technician Program near Atherton CA
Picking the best radiology technician school is an important first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close 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 radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are looking at before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Atherton CA.
Some Background on Atherton California
Atherton is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States. Its population was 7,159 as of 2013. In 1990, Atherton was ranked as having the highest per capita income among U.S. towns with a population between 2500 and 9,999, and it is regularly ranked among the most expensive zip codes in the country.
In 1866, Atherton was known as Fair Oaks, and was a flag stop on the California Coast Line of the Southern Pacific Railroad between San Francisco and San Jose for the convenience of the owners of the large estates who lived north of Menlo Park. The entire area was called Menlo Park. It had been part of the Rancho de las Pulgas that had covered most of the area, which is now southern San Mateo County. There were several attempts to incorporate Fair Oaks, one in 1874 and another in 1911.
In 1923, Menlo Park wished to incorporate its lands to include the Fair Oaks lands. During a meeting of the representatives of the two communities, it became clear to the Fair Oaks property owners that in order to maintain their community as a strictly residential area, they would have to incorporate separately. Both groups rushed to Sacramento but the Fair Oaks committee arrived first. It was at that time they realized that they could not keep the name Fair Oaks, as it was already the name of a town near Sacramento. It was decided to honor Faxon Dean Atherton who had been one of the first property owners in the south peninsula and name the Town for him. Atherton was incorporated on September 12, 1923. That same year, in 1923, the Menlo Polo Club was founded in Atherton.
Faxon D. Atherton, a native of Massachusetts, had spent several years in Chile and Hawaii as a trader in tallow, hides and merchandise. His friend and business associate, Thomas Lark, had written to him "there is education available for your children and a dignity of living on landed estates down the San Francisco peninsula (that is) convenient and accessible." Atherton purchased 640 acres (2.6 km2) for ten dollars an acre ($2470/km²) in 1860. His home, "Valparaíso Park", was built several years later. It was simple in design and ample for his family of seven children.
Because of the development of the railroad, other San Franciscans traveled south and established summer homes. The dirt roads were usually impassable in the winter, so the families were only in residence from May through September.
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