How to Choose an Xray Technician Program near Folsom California
Congrats regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Folsom CA in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you assess each of the colleges you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are additional critical qualifications also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the colleges you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Job Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Folsom CA clinics, hospitals, 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 maintain their equipment and regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Folsom CA medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that Folsom CA radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from one 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 Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several accept other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous Folsom CA employers will only 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 exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Classes
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often performed in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Folsom CA home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online school you pick 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 school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing Folsom CA x-ray technician schools. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still imperative to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Folsom CA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the California radiology tech programs you are evaluating have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Folsom CA health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Folsom CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Folsom CA home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have 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 Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Folsom CA schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the x-ray tech school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Folsom CA, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Radiology Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask radiographer candidates is "What drove you to decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being an Xray technician, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Select the Best Radiology Tech School near Folsom CA
Choosing the appropriate radiology technician school is an important first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal 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 report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Folsom CA.
Some Background on Folsom California
Folsom is a city in Sacramento County, California, United States. It is commonly known for Folsom Prison and Folsom Lake. The population was 72,203 at the 2010 census.
Folsom is part of the Sacramento−Arden-Arcade−Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Folsom is named for Joseph Libbey Folsom who purchased Rancho Rio de los Americanos from the heirs of a San Francisco merchant William Alexander Leidesdorff, and laid out the town called Granite City, mostly occupied by gold miners seeking fortune in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Though few amassed a great deal of wealth, the city prospered due to Joseph Folsom's lobbying to get a railway to connect the town with Sacramento. Joseph died in 1855, and Granite City was later renamed to Folsom in his honor. The railway was abandoned in the 1980s but opened up as the terminus of the Gold Line of Sacramento Regional Transit District's light rail service in 2005. A few former gold-rush era towns are located within city limits of Folsom, including Prairie City, Salmon Falls, and Mormon Island (though these towns no longer exist).
Folsom hosted a significant Chinese American community when it was first incorporated, but arsonists burned Folsom's Chinatown in March 1886, driving Chinese Americans out of town.
The establishment of Folsom Prison came in 1880, when the Livermore family made an agreement with the state to donate land for the prison in exchange for prison labor. They planned to build a hydro-electric dam from the American River for a sawmill. Though the sawmill did not work out, the Livermores soon realized that the natural force of running water could provide enough power to transmit to Sacramento, and the Folsom Powerhouse, now a National Historic Landmark, was opened. At the time it was opened, it had the longest overhead run of electricity (22 miles) in the country. The powerhouse operated until 1952.
More Cities of Interest in California