How to Select an X-Ray Tech College near Merced California
Congratulations on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Merced CA in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the right school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you research each of the schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are other important qualifications also. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same principal job description, 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 elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Merced CA hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize 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 also regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Merced CA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. 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 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer 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 may be appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that Merced CA radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in California or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number approve additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous Merced CA employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Merced CA residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
After you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating Merced CA x-ray tech colleges. 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 obviously the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous review of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it may also obtain 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 guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Merced CA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the California radiology tech programs you are interested in have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Merced CA health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Merced CA healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Merced CA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide 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 normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Merced CA colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Merced CA, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Become an X-Ray Tech?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask radiographer applicants is "What drove you to decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a radiology technician, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize several ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal X-Ray Technician College near Merced CA
Picking the appropriate radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed 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. Possessing social 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 post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Merced CA.
Some Background on Merced California
Merced County, California
Merced County (/mərˈsɛd/ mər-SED), is a county located in the northern San Joaquin Valley section of the Central Valley, in the U.S. state of California.
As of the 2010 census, the population was 255,793. The county seat is Merced. The county is named after the Merced River.
Merced County comprises the Merced, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Modesto-Merced, CA Combined Statistical Area. It is located north of Fresno County and Fresno, and southeast of Santa Clara County and San Jose.
The county derives its name from the Merced River, or El Río de Nuestra Señora de la Merced (River of Our Lady of Mercy), named in 1806 by an expedition headed by Gabriel Moraga, which came upon it at the end of a hot dusty ride on the El Camino Viejo across the San Joaquin Valley in Spanish colonial Las Californias Province.
Between 1841 and 1844, during the period when Alta California was a territory of independent Mexico, four Mexican land grants were made in what became Merced County: Rancho Orestimba y Las Garzas, Rancho Panoche de San Juan y Los Carrisolitos, Rancho San Luis Gonzaga, and Rancho Sanjon de Santa Rita
More Cities of Interest in California