How to Pick an Xray Technician College near Santa Clarita California
Congratulations regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Santa Clarita CA so you can become a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the right school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the colleges you are considering 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 residences. 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 qualifications as well. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the colleges you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Santa Clarita CA clinics, hospitals, 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 retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Santa Clarita CA medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils 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 takes 18 months to 2 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 extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that Santa Clarita CA radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in California or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number approve additional options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous Santa Clarita CA employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically provided in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Santa Clarita CA home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just confirm that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Colleges
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating Santa Clarita CA x-ray tech colleges. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still important to confirm 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Santa Clarita CA health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the California radiology technician programs you are reviewing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Santa Clarita CA health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Santa Clarita CA healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Santa Clarita CA home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program 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 usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Santa Clarita CA colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Santa Clarita CA, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out 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 may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Become an Xray Technician?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask radiographer applicants is "What drove you to select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being an X-Ray tech, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Select the Right X-Ray Tech Program near Santa Clarita CA
Selecting the best x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Santa Clarita CA.
Some Background on Santa Clarita California
Santa Clarita, California
Santa Clarita, officially the City of Santa Clarita, is the fourth largest city in Los Angeles County, California, and the 24th largest in the state of California. The city has annexed a number of unincorporated areas, contributing to the large population increase. It is located about 35 miles (56 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, and occupies most of the Santa Clarita Valley. It is a notable example of a U.S. edge city or boomburb. Santa Clarita was ranked by Money magazine in 2006 as 18th of the top 100 places to live.
Santa Clarita was incorporated in December 1987 as the union of four unincorporated communities, Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, and Valencia, most of which are situated on the land of the former Rancho San Francisco. The four communities retain separate identities, and it is common for residents to refer to a specific neighborhood when asked where they are from. Santa Clarita is bounded on the west by the Golden State Freeway (I-5). The Antelope Valley Freeway (SR-14) runs northeast-southwest through an irregular east border, and the Newhall Pass is the city's southernmost point.
Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park and Stevenson Ranch are both commonly associated with Santa Clarita, but are located just outside the city limits.
Santa Clarita was incorporated in December 1987, but its history stretches back several centuries. About AD 450, the Tataviam arrived, numbering around 2,000 at their zenith.
The Santa Clara River was named by Spanish explorers for Clare of Assisi. The valley and the settlement later became known as "little Santa Clara" in deference to the Northern California mission and city of Santa Clara, California. In time, "little Santa Clara" became "Santa Clarita."
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