How to Pick an X-Ray Tech Program near San Luis Obispo California
Congrats regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near San Luis Obispo CA so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in San Luis Obispo CA clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As San Luis Obispo CA medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that San Luis Obispo CA radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in California or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many offer other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous San Luis Obispo CA employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often provided in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your San Luis Obispo CA residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less costly than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make certain that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating San Luis Obispo CA x-ray technician colleges. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also earn 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 premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous San Luis Obispo CA health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the California xray tech schools you are evaluating have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the San Luis Obispo CA medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with San Luis Obispo CA healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their San Luis Obispo CA home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently 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 get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the San Luis Obispo CA schools you are considering 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 converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the x-ray tech school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in San Luis Obispo CA, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Be an X-Ray Tech?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask radiographer candidates is "What compelled you to choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a radiology technician, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Choose the Best Radiology Tech School near San Luis Obispo CA
Selecting the ideal x-ray tech school is an important first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiology tech in San Luis Obispo CA.
Some Background on San Luis Obispo California
San Luis Obispo, California
San Luis Obispo (/sæn ˌluːɪs əˈbɪspoʊ/; Spanish for St. Louis, the Bishop [of Toulouse]), or SLO /sloʊ/ for short, is a city in the U.S. state of California, located roughly midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the Central Coast. The population was 45,119 at the 2010 census. The population of San Luis Obispo County was 269,637 in 2010.
Founded in 1772 by Spanish Franciscan Junípero Serra, San Luis Obispo is one of California's oldest communities. Serra's original mission was named for the 13th-century saint and bishop Louis of Toulouse. The city, locally referred to as San Luis, SLO, or SLO Town (as its county is also referred to as SLO) is the county seat of San Luis Obispo County and is adjacent to California Polytechnic State University.
The earliest human inhabitants of the local area were the Chumash people. One of the earliest villages lies south of San Luis Obispo and reflects the landscape of the early Holocene when estuaries came farther inland. The Chumash people used marine resources of the inlets and bays along the Central Coast and inhabited a network of villages, including sites at Los Osos and Morro Creek.
During the Spanish Empire expansion throughout the world, specifically in 1769, Franciscan Junípero Serra received orders from Spain to bring the Catholic faith to the natives of Alta California; the idea was to unify the empire under the same religion and language. Mission San Diego was the first Spanish mission founded in Alta California that same year.
On September 7–8, 1769, an expedition led by Gaspar de Portolá entered the San Luis Obispo area from coastal areas around today's Pismo Beach. One of the expedition's three diarists, padre Juan Crespí, recorded the name given to this area by the soldiers as Cañada de Los Osos ("cañada" translates as "valley" or "canyon"). The party traveled north along San Luis Obispo Creek, turned west through Los Osos valley, and reached Morro Bay on September 9.
More Cities of Interest in California