How to Find a Radiologic Technician Program near Petaluma California
Congratulations regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Petaluma CA so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about picking the right school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you research each of the colleges you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Petaluma CA clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with 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 functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Petaluma CA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that Petaluma CA radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in California or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept other options for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Petaluma CA employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in regional family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Petaluma CA residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often more affordable than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Programs
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and assessing Petaluma CA x-ray technician colleges. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still important to verify 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged 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 assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Petaluma CA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the California radiology tech colleges you are evaluating have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Petaluma CA healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Petaluma CA 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 school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Petaluma CA home. Individuals 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. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally 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 undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Petaluma CA schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the x-ray tech program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Petaluma CA, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Radiologic Technologist?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask radiographer applicants is "What compelled you to decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for being an Xray technician, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should ready some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Best Radiology Tech School near Petaluma CA
Enrolling in the appropriate x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Petaluma CA.
Some Background on Petaluma California
Petaluma /pɛtəˈluːmə/ is a city in Sonoma County, California, part of the North Bay sub-region of the San Francisco Bay Area, located 37 mi (60 km) north of San Francisco. Its population was 57,941 according to the 2010 Census.
The Rancho Petaluma Adobe, located in Petaluma, is a National Historic Landmark. Its construction started in 1836 by order of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, then Commandant of the San Francisco Presidio. It was the center of a 66,000 acre (270-km²) ranch stretching from Petaluma River to Sonoma Creek. The adobe is considered one of the best preserved buildings of its era in Northern California.
Petaluma is a transliteration of the Coast Miwok phrase péta lúuma which means hill backside and probably refers to Petaluma's proximity to Sonoma Mountain.
Petaluma has a well-preserved, historic city center which includes many buildings that survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
The Coast Miwok resided in southern Sonoma County, and Péta Lúuma was originally the name of a Miwok village east of the Petaluma River. A number of other Coast Miwok villages were also located in and around what is now Petaluma; Wotoki, immediately to the south of the village of Petaluma, on the opposite side of the river, Etem, Likatiut, and Tuchayalin, near downtown Petaluma, and Tulme and Susuli, just north of what are now the city limits of Petaluma.
More Cities of Interest in California