How to Pick an Xray Tech Program near Laguna Hills California
Best wishes regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Laguna Hills CA so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the right college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you investigate each of the colleges you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications also. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions 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 education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Laguna Hills CA clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might 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 and regularly assess its performance and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Laguna Hills CA medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that Laguna Hills CA radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which a large number of 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 licensing or certification mandates in California or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many accept additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, many Laguna Hills CA employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often provided in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Laguna Hills CA home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often more affordable than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just be sure that the online program you enroll in 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 option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating Laguna Hills CA x-ray technician colleges. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. 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 premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Laguna Hills CA health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the California radiology tech schools you are evaluating have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Laguna Hills CA healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Laguna Hills CA healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Laguna Hills 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. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Laguna Hills CA schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Laguna Hills CA, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Choose to Be an X-Ray Tech?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask radiographer applicants is "What made you decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a radiology technician, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Select the Right X-Ray Technician College near Laguna Hills CA
Picking the appropriate x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians 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 care to patients. As we have discussed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Laguna Hills CA.
Some Background on Laguna Hills California
Laguna Hills, California
Laguna Hills is a city in Orange County, California, United States. Its name refers to its proximity to Laguna Canyon and the much older Laguna Beach. Other newer cities nearby—Laguna Niguel and Laguna Woods—are similarly named.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.7 square miles (17 km2). 6.7 square miles (17 km2) of it is land and 0.025 square miles (0.065 km2) of it (0.37%) is water.
Laguna Hills is built on one of the major land grants developed during the rancho era. Following Mexico's independence from Spain in 1821, those who had served in the government or who had friends in authority, were given vast lands for cattle grazing. Rancho Lomas de Santiago, Rancho San Joaquin, and Rancho Niguel covered much of the western portion of the Saddleback Valley. Don Juan Avila was granted the 13,000-acre Rancho Niguel on which Laguna Hills is located.
In 1894, Lewis Moulton purchased Rancho Niguel from Don Juan Avila and increased the original grant to 22,000 acres (89 km2). Moulton and his partner, Jean Piedra Daguerre, used the ranch to raise sheep and cattle. The Moulton Ranch was eventually subdivided in the early 1960s, and part of the division became today's Laguna Hills.
Incorporation efforts began in 1987 and on March 5, 1991, 86% of the residents voted in favor of forming the City of Laguna Hills. On December 20, 1991, Laguna Hills officially became a City. Subsequent annexations have included the North Laguna Hills (1996) and the "Westside Annexation" (2000) areas. The latter included 149 acres (0.60 km2) of residential land, including the Aliso Viejo Community Association's Sheep Hills Park.
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