How to Find a Radiologic Tech Program near Long Beach California
Congratulations on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Long Beach CA in order to train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about selecting the ideal college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it’s imperative that you investigate each of the schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifications as well. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Long Beach CA clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 plus routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Long Beach CA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that Long Beach CA radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an externship program which many colleges offer 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 working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several accept additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous Long Beach CA employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase 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 examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Long Beach CA residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often more affordable than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just make sure that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating Long Beach CA x-ray technician colleges. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still crucial to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain 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. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Long Beach CA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the California radiology tech schools you are evaluating have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Long Beach CA health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Long Beach CA healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Long Beach CA residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Long Beach CA schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the x-ray tech program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Long Beach CA, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, 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 due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become an X-Ray Tech?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask radiographer applicants is "What compelled you to select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should organize some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal X-Ray Tech College near Long Beach CA
Picking the best radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward beginning a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Long Beach CA.
Some Background on Long Beach California
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city on the Pacific Coast of the United States, within the Greater Los Angeles area of Southern California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257. It is the 39th most populous city in the United States and the 7th most populous in California. Long Beach is the second-largest city in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and the third largest in Southern California behind Los Angeles and San Diego. Long Beach is a charter city.
The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest container port in the United States and is among the world's largest shipping ports. The city also maintains a progressively declining oil industry with minor wells located both directly beneath the city as well as offshore. Manufacturing sectors include those in aircraft, automotive parts, electronic equipment, audiovisual equipment, petrochemicals, precision metals and home furnishings.
Long Beach lies in the southeastern corner of Los Angeles County and borders Orange County. Downtown Long Beach is approximately 22 miles (35 km) south of downtown Los Angeles, though the two cities share an official border for several miles.
Indigenous people have lived in coastal Southern California for over 10,000 years, and several successive cultures have inhabited the present-day area of Long Beach. By the 16th-century arrival of Spanish explorers, the dominant group was the Tongva people. They had at least three major settlements within the present-day city. Tevaaxa'anga was an inland settlement near the Los Angeles River, while Ahwaanga and Povuu'nga were coastal villages. Along with other Tongva villages, they were forced to relocate in the mid-19th century due to missionization, political change, and a drastic drop in population from exposure to European diseases.
More Cities of Interest in California