How to Pick an X-Ray Technician Degree Program near San Mateo California
Congrats on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near San Mateo CA in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s essential that you assess each of the colleges you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are other significant qualifiers also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in San Mateo CA hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might 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 plus regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As San Mateo CA health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally requires 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 four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that San Mateo CA radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from any 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.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several provide other options for testing also. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many San Mateo CA employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve 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 calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
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 programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically conducted in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your San Mateo CA residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online program you enroll in 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 right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
When you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of finding and assessing San Mateo CA x-ray technician schools. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still imperative to verify that the school and program 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online 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 superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous San Mateo CA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the California xray technician programs you are evaluating have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the San Mateo CA health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with San Mateo CA healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their San Mateo CA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the San Mateo CA schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in San Mateo CA, check 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, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Be an Xray Technician?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask radiographer candidates is "What drove you to pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best Radiology Technician School near San Mateo CA
Choosing the ideal radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed 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 necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in San Mateo CA.
Some Background on San Mateo California
San Mateo, California
San Mateo (/ˌsæn məˈteɪ.oʊ/ SAN mə-TAY-oh; Spanish for "Saint Matthew") is a city in San Mateo County, California, located in the high-tech enclave of Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area. With a population of 97,207 as of the 2010 census, it is one of the larger suburbs on the San Francisco Peninsula, located between Burlingame to the north, Foster City and San Francisco Bay to the east, Belmont to the south, and Highlands-Baywood Park and Hillsborough to the west. The 2015 population was estimated to be 103,536. San Mateo was incorporated in 1894.
Documented by Spanish colonists as part of the Rancho de las Pulgas (literally "Ranch of the Fleas") and the Rancho San Mateo, the earliest history is held in the archives of Mission Dolores. In 1789 the Spanish missionaries had named a Native American village along Laurel Creek as Los Laureles or the Laurels (Mission Dolores, 1789). At the time of Mexican Independence, there were 30 native Californians at San Mateo, most likely from the Salson tribelet.
Captain Fredrick W. Beechey in 1827 traveling with the hills on their right, known in that part as the Sierra del Sur, began to approach the road, which passing over a small eminence, opened out upon "a wide country of meadow land, with clusters of fine oak free from underwood… It strongly resembled a nobleman's park: herds of cattle and horses were grazing upon the rich pasture, and numerous fallow‑deer, startled at the approach of strangers, bounded off to seek protection among the hills… This spot is named San Matheo, and belongs to the mission of San Francisco." An 1835 sketch map of the Rancho refers to the creek as Arroyo de Los Laureles. In the 21st century, most of the laurels are gone, removed for development.
In 1810 Coyote Point was an early recorded feature of San Mateo. Beginning in the 1850s, some wealthy San Franciscans began building summer or permanent homes in the milder mid-peninsula. While most of this early settlement occurred in adjacent Hillsborough and Burlingame, a number of historically important mansions and buildings were constructed in San Mateo.
A.P. Giannini, founder of the Bank of Italy (which later became the Bank of America), lived here most of his life. His mansion, Seven Oaks, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (No.99001181). Located at 20 El Cerrito Drive, it has been deteriorating as it has not been preserved or occupied for years.
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