How to Find an X-Ray Technician Program near West Covina California
Congrats on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near West Covina CA so you can become a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you assess each of the colleges you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are other significant qualifications as well. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in West Covina CA clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As West Covina CA medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school 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 techs, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to consider is that West Covina CA radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in California or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary 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 purpose of licensing, but several approve additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many West Covina CA employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it may 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 two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically provided in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your West Covina CA residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less costly than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make certain that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
After you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating West Covina CA x-ray technician schools. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still important 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review 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. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of West Covina CA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the California radiology tech schools you are interested in have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the West Covina CA medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with West Covina CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their West Covina CA residence. Students who have chosen 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 concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the West Covina CA colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the x-ray tech school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in West Covina CA, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol 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 prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask radiographer candidates is "What compelled you to select radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover 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 undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal Radiology Technician School near West Covina CA
Selecting the ideal x-ray tech degree program is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed 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. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in West Covina CA.
Some Background on West Covina California
West Covina, California
West Covina is a city in Los Angeles County, California, located 19 miles (31 km) east of Downtown Los Angeles in the eastern San Gabriel Valley and is part of Greater Los Angeles. The population for the city was 106,098 at the 2010 census.
West Covina was incorporated as an independent city in 1923 to prevent the city of Covina from building a sewage farm in the area. Walnut groves and orange groves continued to flourish during the subsequent decades. The population in 1930 was 769 and blossomed to 1,549 in 1940. As a result of remarkable expansion during the post World War II building boom, West Covina became one of the fastest-growing U.S. cities between 1950 and 1960, with the population increasing 1,000 per cent from less than 5,000 to more than 50,000 citizens. The decades between 1960 and 2000 demonstrated steady growth, which slowed significantly by the time of the 2010 census.
The City of West Covina began the second half of the 20th century with new developments and projects, mostly brought on by big business. The City Hall and police facility were built in 1969 as the first phase of an example of a Joint Powers Authority in the County of Los Angeles. The Civic Center Joint Powers Authority, consisting of the County of Los Angeles and the City of West Covina, also completed a three-level parking structure in the Civic Center complex. The Civic Center complex includes the Los Angeles County Regional Library and the Citrus Municipal Court building and the city offices.
The first Redevelopment Agency project included a regional shopping center, the West Covina Fashion Plaza, with three major department stores and 150 shops in an air-conditioned, enclosed mall. It also included the revitalization of the older sections of the shopping center. The Fashion Plaza has provided the citizens of the San Gabriel Valley with convenient access to all shopping needs. In 1991 the mall was renovated adding a food court and additional shops, as well as the redecorating of the entire mall. The mall was renamed "The Plaza at West Covina". The Plaza opened a new 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2). wing in October 1993 featuring 50 new stores including a new Robinson's-May and interior renovation throughout The Plaza.
The Redevelopment Agency's efforts have also resulted in several major office buildings in the city, such as "The Lakes", in addition to two new community shopping centers, freestanding retail developments, restaurants, residential projects, and the Auto Plaza.
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