How to Choose a Radiologic Technician School near Alameda California
Best wishes on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Alameda CA in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s imperative that you research each of the colleges you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Alameda CA hospitals, clinics, private 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 must care for their equipment and frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Alameda CA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. One thing to consider is that Alameda CA radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in California or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many Alameda CA employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often performed in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Alameda CA residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating Alameda CA x-ray tech colleges. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies 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 detailed evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Alameda CA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the California xray tech programs you are assessing have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Alameda CA medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alameda CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Alameda CA home. Individuals who have decided 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Alameda CA schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the x-ray tech program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Alameda CA, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become an X-Ray Tech?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask radiographer prospects is "What made you decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being an Xray technician, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables 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 interests you in addition to the abilities 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 several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Right X-Ray Tech School near Alameda CA
Selecting the right radiology tech college is an important first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. 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 provide the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Alameda CA.
Some Background on Alameda California
Alameda County, California
Alameda County (/ˌæləˈmiːdə/ AL-ə-MEE-də) is a county in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,510,271, making it the 7th-most populous county in the state. Its county seat is Oakland. Alameda County is included in the San Francisco Bay Area, occupying much of the East Bay region.
Alameda County is included in the San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.
The county was formed on March 25, 1853, from a large portion of Contra Costa County and a smaller portion of Santa Clara County.
The Spanish word alameda means "a grove of poplars.....or a tree lined street" a name originally used to describe the Arroyo de la Alameda (Poplar Grove Creek). The willow and sycamore trees along the banks of the river reminded the early explorers of a road lined with trees.
The county seat at the time it was formed was located at Alvarado, now part of Union City. In 1856 it was moved to San Leandro, where the county courthouse was destroyed by the devastating 1868 quake on the Hayward Fault. The county seat was then re-established in the town of Brooklyn from 1872-1875. Brooklyn is now part of Oakland, which has been the county seat since 1873.
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