How to Select a Radiology Tech Degree Program near Sun Valley California
Congratulations on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Sun Valley CA so you can learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle selecting the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you investigate each of the schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Sun Valley CA clinics, hospitals, private 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 must take care of their equipment and also regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Sun Valley CA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students 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 takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that Sun Valley CA radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in their area. After you have graduated from any 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.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many offer other alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous Sun Valley CA employers will only 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 as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically performed in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Sun Valley CA home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally more affordable than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just confirm 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 type of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of locating and assessing Sun Valley CA x-ray technician schools. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask 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 selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still crucial to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program 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. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Sun Valley CA health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the California radiology technician programs you are interested in have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Sun Valley CA health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably wish 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 considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Sun Valley CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Sun Valley CA residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online 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 keep in mind is that if you decide 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Sun Valley CA colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Sun Valley CA, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Become a Radiologic Technologist?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask radiographer applicants is "What compelled you to pick radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a radiology technician, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Pick the Best X-Ray Tech School near Sun Valley CA
Picking the ideal radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology 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 provide the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Sun Valley CA.
Some Background on Sun Valley California
Sun Valley, Los Angeles
Sun Valley is a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles County, California. The neighborhood is known for its overall youthful population and moderate racial diversity. There are three recreation centers in Sun Valley, one of which is a historic site. The neighborhood has thirteen public schools — including John H. Francis Polytechnic High School and Sun Valley High School — and four private schools.
The 2000 U.S. census counted 75,848 residents in the 9.42-square-mile Sun Valley neighborhood—or 8,048 people per square mile, about an average population density for the city. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 81,788. In 2000 the median age for residents was 28, considered young for city and county neighborhoods; the percentage of residents aged 10 or younger was among the county's highest.
The neighborhood was considered "moderately diverse" ethnically within Los Angeles, with a high percentage of Latinos. The breakdown was Latinos, 69.4%; whites, 17.9%; Asians, 8.1%; blacks, 1.9%; and others, 2.7%. Mexico (54.5%) and El Salvador (11.9%) were the most common places of birth for the 51.9% of the residents who were born abroad—a high percentage for Los Angeles.
The median yearly household income in 2008 dollars was $51,290, considered average for the city but low for the county. The percentages of households that earned $20,000 to $60,000 were high for the county. Renters occupied 46.1% of the housing stock, and house or apartment-owners held 53.9%.
Sun Valley is bordered on the northeast by Shadow Hills, on the southeast by Burbank, on the south by North Hollywood and Valley Glen, on the west by Panorama City and on the northwest by Pacoima, Hansen Dam and Lake View Terrace.
More Cities of Interest in California