How to Select an Xray Tech College near Castaic California
Best wishes regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Castaic CA in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you tackle picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you research each of the schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other important qualifications as well. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the colleges you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same major job function, 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 the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Castaic CA hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment and also routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Castaic CA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that Castaic CA radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in California or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several approve additional options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous Castaic CA employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve 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 demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually provided in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Castaic CA residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing Castaic CA x-ray technician colleges. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still crucial to make sure 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Castaic CA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the California radiology tech schools you are interested in have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Castaic CA healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Castaic CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Castaic CA residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Castaic CA colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the x-ray tech school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Castaic CA, verify 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 have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Be a Radiology Technician?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask radiographer candidates is "What made you choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for being an Xray technician, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare some ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal Radiology Tech College near Castaic CA
Selecting the best radiology technician school is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Castaic CA.
Some Background on Castaic California
Castaic, California (also spelled Castec, or Kashtiq; pronunciation is a source of contention between older and newer residents, see below) is an unincorporated community located in the northern part of Los Angeles County, California. Many thousands of motorists pass through Castaic daily as they drive to or from Los Angeles on Interstate 5. Castaic Lake is part of the California Water Project and is the site of a hydro-electric power plant. Castaic is 41.7 miles (67.1 km) northwest of Los Angeles Union Station and due north of the city of Santa Clarita, California.
On Spanish documents, the original spelling was Castec, which represented the Chumash Native American word Kashtiq, meaning “eyes” or “wet spot.” Castec is first mentioned on old boundary maps of Rancho San Francisco, as a canyon at the trailhead leading to the old Chumash camp at Castac Lake (Tejon Ranch), which is intermittently wet and briny.
Modern Castaic began in 1887 when Southern Pacific set up a railroad siding on the line between Piru and Saugus Station, naming it "Castaic Junction". Between January and April 1890, the Castec School District adopted the new spelling, Castaic.
Following that newer spelling, some pronounce “Castaic” with three, instead of two, syllables. (See below for details and sources on the "Castaic pronunciation controversy".)
Between 1890 and 1916, the Castaic Range War was fought in Castaic country over ranch boundaries and grazing rights. It was the biggest range war in U.S. history.
More Cities of Interest in California