How to Select a Radiology Technician Degree Program near Downey California
Congratulations regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Downey CA in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Downey CA clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize 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 also frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Downey CA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The standard requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable also. Something to consider is that Downey CA radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in California or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, 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 get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many accept other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Downey CA employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance 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 comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Downey CA residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just make certain that the online school you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing Downey CA x-ray technician colleges. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby 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 also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Downey CA health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the California xray tech colleges you are interested in have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Downey CA medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Downey CA healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Downey CA residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Downey CA colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the x-ray tech program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Downey CA, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Decide to Be an X-Ray Tech?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask radiographer applicants is "What drove you to choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being an X-Ray tech, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready several strategies about how you want to address them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Select the Ideal X-Ray Technician College near Downey CA
Choosing the ideal radiology technician school is an important first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability 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 techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Downey CA.
Some Background on Downey California
Downey is a city located in southeast Los Angeles County, California, United States, 13 mi (21 km) southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It is considered part of the Gateway Cities. The city is the birthplace of the Apollo space program, and is the hometown of Richard and Karen Carpenter. It is also the home of the oldest still operational McDonald's restaurant in the world. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 111,772.
Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in Alta California, the area that is now Downey was inhabited by the Tongva ethnic group, which came to be called the Gabrielino by the Spanish. The nearest Tongva settlements appear to have been just north and northeast of present-day Downey, although there is difficulty in locating them precisely. The villages of Naxaaw’nga and Sehat seem to have been situated near the present-day community of Los Nietos, or perhaps farther west on sites that were lost to floods of the San Gabriel River. Chokiishnga and Huutnga are other Tongva place names that may have referred to villages in the general area north of Downey between the San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo. In all four cases, it is difficult to relate the original location descriptions, based on ranchos and land grants, to more specific sites identifiable by today's landmarks.
Mission San Gabriel Arcángel was initially founded on September 8, 1771, near these concentrations of Tongva population, at a site in the Whittier Narrows on a bluff overlooking the Rio Hondo near the intersection of today's San Gabriel Blvd and Lincoln Avenue. After five years, flooding forced the relocation of the mission to its present site in San Gabriel.
In 1784, Governor Pedro Fages granted to former soldier Manuel Nieto (1734–1804) the largest of the land concessions made during the Spanish control of California. Its 300,000 acres (120,000 ha; 1,200 km2) stretched from the Santa Ana River on the east to the Old San Gabriel River (now the Rio Hondo and Los Angeles River) on the west, and from the mission highway (approximately Whittier Boulevard) on the north to the ocean on the south. Its acreage was slightly reduced later at the insistence of Mission San Gabriel on whose lands it infringed. The Spanish concessions, of which 25 were made in California, were unlike the later Mexican land grants in that title was not transferred, but were similar to grazing permits, with the title remaining with the Spanish crown.
The Rancho Los Nietos passed to Manuel Nieto's four children upon his death and remained intact until, in 1833, his heirs petitioned Mexican Governor José Figueroa to partition the property. The northwestern portion of the original rancho, comprising the Downey-Norwalk area, was granted as Rancho Santa Gertrudes to Josefa Cota, the widow of Manuel's son, Antonio Nieto. At approximately 21,000 acres (8,500 ha; 85 km2), Santa Gertrudes was itself a sizable rancho and contained the old Nietos homestead, which was a center of social life east of the pueblo of Los Angeles. After the Mexican–American War concluded in 1848, many of the Californio ranchos were obtained by affluent Anglo-Americans who were immigrating west under the United States manifest destiny doctrine, and marrying into established Californio Spanish families. This migration was distinct from that prompted by the California Gold Rush farther north.
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