How to Find a Radiology Tech Degree Program near Monterey California
Congrats regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Monterey CA in order to become a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you assess each of the schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Monterey CA clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may 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 plus routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Monterey CA medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The standard requirement for attending 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 or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that Monterey CA radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in California or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many offer other options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many Monterey CA employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might increase 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 education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often performed in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Monterey CA home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often cheaper than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Schools
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and assessing Monterey CA x-ray tech colleges. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still imperative to make sure that the program and school 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Monterey CA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the California radiology technician schools you are evaluating have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Monterey CA medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Monterey CA healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Monterey CA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to 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 way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Monterey CA schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Monterey CA, make sure that they are offered. 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 have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Radiologic Technologist?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask radiographer applicants is "What made you choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a radiology technician, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Enroll in the Right X-Ray Technician Program near Monterey CA
Picking the ideal x-ray tech college is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians 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 pleasant work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiographer in Monterey CA.
Some Background on Monterey California
Monterey County, California
Monterey County is a county located on the Pacific coast of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 415,057. The county seat and largest city is Salinas.
Monterey County comprises the Salinas, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It borders the Monterey Bay, from which it derives its name. The northern half of the bay is in Santa Cruz County. Monterey County is a member of the regional governmental agency, Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments.
The coastline, including Big Sur, State Route 1, and the 17 Mile Drive on the Monterey Peninsula, has made the county world-famous. The city of Monterey was the capital of California under Spanish and Mexican rule. The economy is primarily based upon tourism in the coastal regions and agriculture in the Salinas River valley. Most of the county's people live near the northern coast and Salinas Valley, while the southern coast and inland mountain regions are sparsely populated.
Monterey County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood. Parts of the county were given to San Benito County in 1874. The area was originally populated by Ohlone, Salinan and Esselen tribes.
The county derives its name from Monterey Bay. The bay was named by Sebastián Vizcaíno in 1602 in honor of the Conde de Monterrey (or Count of Monterrey), then the Viceroy of New Spain. Monterrey is a variation of Monterrei, a municipality in the Galicia region of Spain where the Conde de Monterrey and his father (the Fourth Count of Monterrei) were from.
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