How to Choose an X-Ray Technician Degree Program near Simi Valley California
Congratulations regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Simi Valley CA in order to train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you assess each of the schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers also. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Simi Valley CA clinics, hospitals, private 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 care for their equipment and also routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Simi Valley CA medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that Simi Valley CA radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in California or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many provide other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many Simi Valley CA employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician 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 while you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Simi Valley CA residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just confirm that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
After you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating Simi Valley CA x-ray technician colleges. You will also need 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 important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still crucial to confirm that the program and school 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. 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 obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Simi Valley CA health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the California xray technician schools you are interested in have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Simi Valley CA medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Simi Valley CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Simi Valley CA home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Simi Valley CA colleges you are considering 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 speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Simi Valley CA, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Radiologic Technologist?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask radiographer applicants is "What compelled you to select radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a radiology technician, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Select the Ideal X-Ray Technician School near Simi Valley CA
Choosing the best radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict 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 radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Simi Valley CA.
Some Background on Simi Valley California
Simi Valley, California
The city of Simi Valley (from the Chumash word, Shimiyi), in the eponymous valley, is in the southeast corner of Ventura County, California, United States. 30 miles (48 km) from Downtown Los Angeles, Simi Valley is part of the Greater Los Angeles Area. The city sits next to Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, and Los Angeles. The city's 2014 population has been estimated at 126,871, up from 111,351 in 2000. The city of Simi Valley is surrounded by the Santa Susana Mountain range and the Simi Hills, west of the San Fernando Valley, and northeast of the Conejo Valley. It is largely a commuter bedroom community, feeding the cities in the Los Angeles area and the San Fernando Valley to the east, and cities in Ventura County to the west.
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where the former president was buried in 2004, is in Simi Valley. Simi Valley has been ranked twice as the 18th most conservative city in the United States; once by The Bay Area Center For Voting Research and also by GovPro.com. The Reagan Library has hosted Republican primary debates, last in 2012, and the first primary debates in 2016. A study done by the University of Vermont ranked Simi Valley as the fifth-happiest city in the United States. According to crime statistics by the FBI in 2013, Simi Valley is the seventh-safest city in the U.S. with a population of 100,000 or more. The U.S. Census Bureau of 2012 reported a median household income of $87,894, which is higher than the California median of $70,231 and the national average of $62,527.
Simi Valley was once inhabited by the Chumash people, who also settled much of the region from the Salinas Valley to the Santa Monica Mountains, with their presence dating back 10,000–12,000 years. Around 5,000 years ago these tribes began processing acorns, and harvesting local marshland plants. Roughly 2,000 years later, as hunting and fishing techniques improved, the population increased significantly. Shortly after this sharp increase a precious stone money system arose, increasing the viability of the region by offsetting fluctuations in available resources relating to climate changes. The native people who inhabited Simi Valley spoke an interior dialect of the Chumash language, called Ventureño.
Simi Valley's name derived from the Chumash word Shimiyi, which refers to the stringy, thread-like clouds that typify the region. The name could have derived from strands of mist from coastal fog that move into the Oxnard Plain and wind their way up the Calleguas Creek and the Arroyo Las Posas into Simi Valley. The origin of the name was preserved because of the work of the anthropologist John P. Harrington, whose brother, Robert E. Harrington lived in Simi Valley. Robert Harrington later explained the name: "The word Simiji in Indian meant the little white wind clouds so often seen when the wind blows up here and Indians living on the coast, would never venture up here when those wind clouds were in the sky. The word Simiji was constructed by whites to the word Simi. There are other explanations about the name Simi, but this one was given to me by my brother who worked over 40 years for the Smithsonian Institution and it seems most plausible to me".
Three Chumash settlements existed in Simi Valley during the Mission period in the late 18th and early 19th century: Shimiyi, Ta’apu (present-day Tapo Canyon), and Kimishax or Quimisac (Happy Camp Canyon west of Moorpark College). There are many Chumash cave paintings in the area containing pictographs, including the Burro Flats Painted Cave in the Burro Flats area of the Simi Hills, located between the Simi Valley, and West Hills and Bell Canyon. The cave is located on private land owned by Boeing, formerly operated by Rocketdyne for testing rocket engines and nuclear research. Other areas containing Chumash Native American pictographs in the Simi Hills are for instance by Lake Manor and Chatsworth.
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