How to Find a Radiologic Technician College near Menlo Park California
Best wishes on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Menlo Park CA in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you investigate each of the colleges you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications also. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Menlo Park CA clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with 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 and routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Menlo Park CA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 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 comprehensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that Menlo Park CA radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in California or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide additional options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous Menlo Park CA employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. 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 Technologist Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical 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 online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often conducted in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Menlo Park CA home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often cheaper than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and assessing Menlo Park CA x-ray tech schools. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded 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 a detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Menlo Park CA health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the California xray tech programs you are assessing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Menlo Park CA medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Menlo Park CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Menlo Park CA home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Menlo Park CA colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 radiology technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Menlo Park CA, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Radiology Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask radiographer prospects is "What compelled you to select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Enroll in the Right Radiology Technician School near Menlo Park CA
Choosing the ideal radiology technician college is an important first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Menlo Park CA.
Some Background on Menlo Park California
Menlo Park, California
Menlo Park is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City to the west. Menlo Park is one of the most educated cities in the state of California and the United States; nearly 70% of residents over the age of 25 has earned a bachelor's degree or higher. Menlo Park had 32,026 inhabitants according to the 2010 United States Census, which had grown to an estimated 33,888 inhabitants by 2016. Menlo Park is the site of Facebook's main campus.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.4 square miles (45 km2), of which 9.8 square miles (25 km2) is land and 7.6 square miles (20 km2) is water. The total area is 43.79% water. Menlo Park is long and narrow on a northeast to southwest axis. The northeast portion borders the San Francisco Bay and includes the Dumbarton Bridge that connects Menlo Park to Fremont on the east side of the bay. The city shoreline includes the city's largest park, Bedwell Bayfront Park 160 acres (65 ha) and the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.San Francisquito Creek marks much of the southeast border of the city. West Menlo Park (not part of the city despite its name) along Alameda de las Pulgas nearly separates the southwestern part of the city (known as Sharon Heights) from the rest. The extreme southwest is clipped by Interstate 280.
The Bayshore Freeway (part of U.S. Route 101) traverses Menlo Park northwest to southeast near the shoreline and somewhat parallel to it to the southwest is El Camino Real. The intersection of El Camino Real and Santa Cruz Avenue is considered the heart of the city. Nearby, the Menlo Park Civic center is bounded by Ravenswood Avenue, Alma Street, Laurel Street and Burgess Drive. It contains the council offices, library, police station and Burgess Park which has various recreational facilities. Other major roads include Sand Hill Road in the Sharon Heights area.
The residential areas of Menlo Park are unofficially divided into several neighborhoods. Belle Haven is the only neighborhood east of the Bayshore Freeway; much of the rest of that area is business or protected land. Between Middlefield road (a road almost parallel to Bayshore) and Bayshore are the neighborhoods of the Willows, Suburban Park, Lorelei Manor, Flood Triangle, Vintage Oaks, and South of Seminary (the seminary being Saint Patrick's Seminary). Between Middlefield and El Camino Real are Felton Gables, Linfield Oaks, and Park Forest. West of El Camino Real until the hills are the neighborhoods of Downtown Menlo Park, Central Menlo Park, and Allied Arts (sometimes also known as Stanford Park, it is named for the Allied Arts Guild in it). In the hills are Sharon Heights and Stanford Hills. Several other neighborhoods are closely associated with Menlo Park but are actually in unincorporated San Mateo county; these include Menlo Oaks and Fair Oaks (latter part of the North Fair Oaks census area) between Bayshore and Middlefield, University Heights (also known as West Menlo Park) between Sharon Heights and most of the rest of the city, and Stanford Weekend Acres which is somewhat near Stanford Hills.
The area of Menlo Park was inhabited by the Ohlone people. In 1795 the Rancho de las Pulgas land grant was made that include the area of the current city.
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