How to Select a Radiologic Tech College near Lancaster California
Congrats on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Lancaster CA so you can learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the right school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you assess each of the colleges you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers also. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Lancaster 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 must care for their equipment and also frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Lancaster CA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 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 finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that Lancaster CA radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in California or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many provide other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many Lancaster CA employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
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 colleges. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Lancaster CA residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Colleges
When you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of locating and evaluating Lancaster CA x-ray technician schools. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still important to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Lancaster CA health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the California xray technician colleges you are reviewing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means 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 can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Lancaster CA health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance 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 Lancaster CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Lancaster CA residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally 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 school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Lancaster CA colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Lancaster CA, make sure 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Decide to Be an X-Ray Tech?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask radiographer candidates is "What compelled you to select radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming an Xray technician, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must ready a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Radiology Tech Program near Lancaster CA
Choosing the appropriate radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Lancaster CA.
Some Background on Lancaster California
Lancaster /ˈlæn.kæstər/ is a charter city in northern Los Angeles County, in the Antelope Valley of the western Mojave Desert in Southern California. As of 2013, Lancaster was the 31st largest city in California. Lancaster is part of a twin city complex with its southern neighbor Palmdale and together they are the principal cities within the Antelope Valley region and the southern Mojave Desert.
Lancaster is located approximately 70 miles (110 km) north (by highway) of downtown Los Angeles, near the Kern County line. It is separated from the Los Angeles Basin by the San Gabriel Mountains to the south, and from Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley by the Tehachapi Mountains to the north. The population of Lancaster grew from 37,000 at the time of its incorporation in 1977 to over 156,000 in 2010. According to the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance report of 2015, Lancaster has a population of 168,049.
The area where Lancaster is now located, known as the Antelope Valley, was originally home to the Paiute Indians. Lancaster's origins as a settlement start with the Southern Pacific Railroad, which is believed to first use the name Lancaster, where a station house, locomotive watering facilities and section gang housing were built when the railroad laid track through the town's future location. In 1876 the Southern Pacific completed the line through the Antelope Valley, linking San Francisco and Los Angeles. The origin of Lancaster's name is unclear, attributed variously to the surname of a railroad station clerk, the moniker given by railroad officials, or the former Pennsylvania home (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) of unknown settlers. Train service brought passengers through the water-stop-turned-community, which, with the help of promotional literature, attracted new settlers. The person credited with formally developing the town is Moses Langley Wicks, who in 1884 bought property from the railroad for $2.50 per acre, mapped out a town with streets and lots, and by September was advertising 160-acre tracts of land for $6 an acre. The following year, the Lancaster News started publication, making it the first weekly newspaper in the Antelope Valley. By 1890, Lancaster was bustling and booming, and thanks to adequate rainfall, farmers planted and sold thousands of acres of wheat and barley.
The town was devastated by the decade-long drought that began in 1894, killing businesses and driving cattle north, though fortunes improved somewhat in 1898 following the nearby discoveries of gold and borax, the latter to become a widespread industrial chemical and household cleaner. Thanks to the five-year construction of the 233-mile Los Angeles Aqueduct starting in 1908, Lancaster became a boom town by housing aqueduct workers. The 1912 completion of Antelope Valley Union High School allowed students from the growing region to study locally instead of moving to distant cities, and the school boasted the state's first dormitory system to accommodate students from outlying districts. The community began a steady growth spurt in the 1930s, starting with construction of Muroc Air Force Base, site of frequent flight tests, including the "breaking" of the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager in a Bell X-1A in 1947. In the 1980s through the end of the program, Edwards Air Force Base, by then renamed, hosted a limited number of landings of the Space Shuttle. The development of Air Force Plant 42 in 1958, augmented in the 1960s by construction of Lockheed Aircraft's Plant 10, created tens of thousands of jobs. High-wage employment hit its peak in the 1970s during the Lockheed L-1011 commercial wide body jetliner project, for which all assembly and some engineering and parts production were performed. 250 L-1011 aircraft were assembled and flown from this plant and airfield. Lancaster was an unincorporated community in Los Angeles County until 1977, when it was incorporated as a city, with Arnold Rodio serving as its first mayor.
Lancaster State Prison opened in 1993 and before that Los Angeles County hosted no prisons but accounted for forty percent of California's state-prison inmates. "Most of Lancaster's civic leaders and residents" opposed the building of the prison, and four inmates escaped from LAC in its first year of operation. Nevertheless, by 2000 a proposal to increase the proportion of maximum-security inmates received little criticism.
More Cities of Interest in California