How to Select a Radiology Tech Program near Durham California
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Durham CA in order to become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the right college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you research each of the schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifiers as well. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Durham CA clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize 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 plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Durham CA health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. 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 technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete 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 opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that Durham CA radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to 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 college, based on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide other options for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many Durham CA employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually performed in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Durham CA residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often cheaper than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
When you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating Durham CA x-ray technician colleges. You will also have 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 important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still crucial to make sure that the school and program 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Durham CA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the California radiology technician colleges you are assessing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Durham CA health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Durham CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Durham CA home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Durham CA colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the x-ray tech college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Durham CA, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask radiographer prospects is "What made you select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Right Radiology Technician Program near Durham CA
Picking the appropriate x-ray tech college is an important first step toward launching a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Durham CA.
Some Background on Durham California
Durham is a census-designated place (CDP) in Butte County, California, United States. The population was 5,518 at the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 81.9 square miles (212 km2), of which, 81.8 square miles (212 km2) of it is land and 0.14 square miles (0.36 km2) of it (0.19%) is water. Durham's main agricultural products are almonds and walnuts.
According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Durham has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csa" on climate maps.
Durham was an experimental cooperative agricultural colony established under the 1917 California State and Settlement Act (AICP Exam Prep 3.0, 2014).
Durham was founded by the Durham Family. It is named for W. W. Durham, member of the California State Assembly. The Durham House still stands today as a reminder of what Durham was back in its early years. Durham was a town in which a railroad ran through and still does today. The railroad is what developed this town and kept it alive. The Durham Flour Mill, which burned down several times, was an integral part of this community.
More Cities of Interest in California