How to Pick an X-Ray Technician Program near Shafter California
Best wishes on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Shafter CA so you can train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the colleges you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Shafter CA hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might 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 frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Shafter CA medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical 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 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable also. Something to consider is that Shafter CA radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in California or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate 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 purpose of licensing, but a number provide additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous Shafter CA employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase 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 requires re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually provided in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your Shafter CA residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally more affordable than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just be sure that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Programs
After you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and assessing Shafter CA x-ray tech colleges. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find 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 assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still crucial to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on 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 ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Shafter CA health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the California radiology tech programs you are interested in have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Shafter CA healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Shafter CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Shafter CA residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Shafter CA colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the x-ray tech program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Shafter CA, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Desire to Become an Xray Technician?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask radiographer candidates is "What made you pick radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming an Xray technician, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Radiology Tech Program near Shafter CA
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology tech college is a crucial first step toward starting a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing 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 analyze and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Shafter CA.
Some Background on Shafter California
Shafter is a city in Kern County, California, United States. It is located 18 miles (29 km) west-northwest of Bakersfield. The population was 16,988 at the 2010 census, up from 12,736 at the 2000 census.
The city is located along State Route 43. Suburbs of Shafter include Myricks Corner, North Shafter, Smith's Corner, and Thomas Lane.
The city of Shafter began as a loading dock along the Santa Fe Railroad right-of-way. The community was named for General William Rufus Shafter who commanded US Forces in Cuba during the Spanish–American War. Property was sold beginning in 1914 and the city incorporated in 1938.
The first post office opened in 1898, moved in 1902, closed in 1905. A new postal service started in 1914.
Also of historical note, Shafter is home to Minter Field, which began operations in June 1941 and saw heavy use during World War II. Approximately 7,000 troops were stationed at the airstrip which hosted up to 600 prisoners of war as well. Today it is publicly owned and administered by the Minter Field Airport District and serves as an industrial center and airport for crop dusters and private aircraft. The Minter Field Museum is maintained on location as well.
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