How to Choose a Radiology Technician Degree Program near Los Altos California
Congrats regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Los Altos CA in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s imperative that you research each of the colleges you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For example, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Los Altos CA hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Los Altos CA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that Los Altos CA radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in California or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check 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 several accept other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many Los Altos CA employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician 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 even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically carried out in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Los Altos CA residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally cheaper than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make certain that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating Los Altos CA x-ray tech colleges. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies 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 assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies 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 securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Los Altos CA health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the California radiology tech schools you are assessing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Los Altos CA healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Los Altos CA healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Los Altos CA home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Los Altos CA schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Los Altos CA, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become a Radiology Technician?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's important to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask radiographer applicants is "What made you select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming an Xray technician, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare several ideas about how you would like to address them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying 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 position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal X-Ray Tech College near Los Altos CA
Choosing the appropriate radiology tech college is a crucial first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects 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 techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Los Altos CA.
Some Background on Los Altos California
Los Altos, California
Los Altos (/lɔːs ˈæltoʊs/ ( listen)) is a city in Santa Clara County, California, in northern Silicon Valley, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 28,976 according to the 2010 census.
Most of the city's growth occurred between 1950 and 1980. Originally an agricultural town with many summer cottages and apricot orchards, Los Altos is now an affluent commuter town for Silicon Valley. Los Altos has several distinctive features. Commercial zones are strictly limited to the downtown area and small shopping and office parks lining Foothill Expressway and El Camino Real.
Homes and other real estate are costly in Los Altos. The median household income of Los Altos for 2006–2010 was $149,964. The average home listing price in 2014 was $1.96 million. In 2017, Forbes put Los Altos (94022 and 94024) as the 3rd and 48th most expensive ZIP codes in the United States with median home prices of $7,755,000 and $3,431,615, respectively. In 2018, data from the American Community Survey revealed that Los Altos was the 5th wealthiest city in the United States.
Los Altos means "the heights" in Spanish.
The area was originally called Banks and Braes.Paul Shoup, an executive of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and his colleagues formed the Altos Land Company in 1906 and started the development of Los Altos. The company acquired 140 acres of land from Sarah Winchester. Shoup wanted to link Palo Alto and Los Gatos by making Los Altos a commuter town. It continued a train-a-day operation to and from San Francisco.
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