How to Pick a Radiology Tech School near Clearlake California
Congrats regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Clearlake CA so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you go about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you assess each of the schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Clearlake CA clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment and also frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Clearlake CA health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally takes 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. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that Clearlake CA radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in their region. After 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.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many accept other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, numerous Clearlake CA employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
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 schools. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often conducted in regional family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Clearlake CA home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
After you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating Clearlake CA x-ray technician 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 of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still crucial 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Clearlake CA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the California xray tech schools you are assessing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Clearlake CA healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Clearlake CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Clearlake CA residence. Students 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Clearlake CA schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Clearlake CA, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Decide to Become an Xray Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask radiographer candidates is "What compelled you to select radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being an Xray technician, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Best Radiology Tech Program near Clearlake CA
Choosing the best radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Clearlake CA.
Some Background on Clearlake California
Clearlake is a city in Lake County, California. Clearlake is 4.5 miles (7.2 km) north-northwest of Lower Lake, at an elevation of 1417 feet (432 m). As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 15,250, up from 13,142 at the 2000 census. It takes its name from Clear Lake.
The Clearlake post office opened in 1923, "Konocti" then Clearlake Highlands until incorporation in 1981 when the official name became City of Clearlake.
The first inhabitants of Clearlake were the Pomo Indians who gave the name to many of the areas features including Mount Konocti. The Pomo suffered mistreatment at the hands of European settlers which resulted in a massive wave of deaths. The result of this was massive amounts of land freed up for the white settlers who arrived during the gold rush.
Clearlake is located at 38°57'30" North, 122°37'35" West.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.6 square miles (27 km2), of which, 10.1 square miles (26 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) of it is water. The total area is 4.27% water.
More Cities of Interest in California