How to Pick an Xray Tech Program near Arcata California
Best wishes regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Arcata CA in order to become a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s imperative that you investigate each of the schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education options that are available.
Radiology Tech Career Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Arcata CA hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Arcata CA health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that Arcata CA radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in California or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer 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 be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer other options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Arcata CA employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase 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 exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Arcata CA residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just confirm that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Programs
After you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of finding and evaluating Arcata CA x-ray tech schools. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance 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 help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Arcata CA health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the California xray technician programs you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Arcata CA medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job placement 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 Arcata CA healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Arcata CA residence. 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 local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Arcata CA colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the x-ray tech program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Arcata CA, confirm 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, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Radiologic Technologist?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask radiographer candidates is "What made you decide on radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a radiology technician, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Best Radiology Technician College near Arcata CA
Selecting the appropriate x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the proper training and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Arcata CA.
Some Background on Arcata California
Arcata, originally Union Town or Union, is a city adjacent to the Arcata Bay (northern) portion of Humboldt Bay in Humboldt County, California, United States. At the 2010 census, Arcata's population was 17,231. Arcata, located 280 miles (450 km) north of San Francisco (via Highway 101), is home to Humboldt State University. Arcata is also the location of the Arcata Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Land Management, which is responsible for the administration of natural resources, lands and mineral programs, including the Headwaters Forest, on approximately 200,000 acres of public land in Northwestern California.
Arcata has been notably progressive in its political makeup, and was the first city in the United States to elect a majority of its city council members from the Green Party. As a result of the progressive majority, Arcata capped the number of chain restaurants allowed in the city. Arcata was also the first municipality to ban the growth of any type of Genetically Modified Organism within city limits, with exceptions for research and educational purposes.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.0 square miles (28.5 km2), of which 9.1 square miles (23.6 km2) is land and 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2) (17.25%) is water.
Arcata contains major public and shopping areas within the city. They include: the Downtown/Plaza Area, Northtown, and Valley West (each of these are also large neighborhoods). There are additional named neighborhoods encompassed by the city: They include: Aldergrove, Alliance (which was once a separate community located North of Arcata), Arcata Bottoms, portions of Bayside (despite it having its own Post Office and postal code), Bayview, California Heights, the Creamery District, Fickle Hill (lower portions), Greenview, the Marsh District (aka South G Street), Redwood Park (which includes the City owned Redwood forest), Sunny Brae, Sunset, and Westwood. Arcata also has the Arcata Marsh, a preserve located on the City's bay shore.
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