How to Choose a Radiology Technician Degree Program near Santa Monica California
Congratulations regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Santa Monica CA so you can train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. 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. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Santa Monica CA hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 regularly assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Santa Monica CA medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option 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 two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to consider is that Santa Monica CA radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in California or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several offer additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many Santa Monica CA employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
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 no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often conducted in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Santa Monica CA residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online school 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 school may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and assessing Santa Monica CA x-ray tech colleges. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Santa Monica CA health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the California radiology technician programs you are evaluating have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Santa Monica CA healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools 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 good relationships with Santa Monica CA healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Santa Monica CA residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required 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 don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Santa Monica CA colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Santa Monica CA, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Radiology Technician?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask radiographer candidates is "What made you pick radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being an X-Ray tech, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should organize a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Select the Right X-Ray Tech College near Santa Monica CA
Selecting the best x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper 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 techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Santa Monica CA.
Some Background on Santa Monica California
Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, United States. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles – Pacific Palisades to the north, Brentwood on the northeast, West Los Angeles on the east, Mar Vista on the southeast, and Venice on the south. The Census Bureau population for Santa Monica in 2010 was 89,736.
Due in part to an agreeable climate, Santa Monica became a famed resort town by the early 20th century. The city has experienced a boom since the late 1980s through the revitalization of its downtown core, significant job growth and increased tourism. The Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park remain popular destinations.
Santa Monica was long inhabited by the Tongva people. Santa Monica was called Kecheek in the Tongva language. The first non-indigenous group to set foot in the area was the party of explorer Gaspar de Portolà, who camped near the present-day intersection of Barrington and Ohio Avenues on August 3, 1769. Named after the Christian saint Monica, there are two different accounts of how the city's name came to be. One says it was named in honor of the feast day of Saint Monica (mother of Saint Augustine), but her feast day is May 4. Another version says it was named by Juan Crespí on account of a pair of springs, the Kuruvungna Springs (Serra Springs), that were reminiscent of the tears Saint Monica shed over her son's early impiety.
In Los Angeles, several battles were fought by the Californios. Following the Mexican–American War, Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which gave Mexicans and Californios living in state certain unalienable rights. US government sovereignty in California began on February 2, 1848.
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