How to Select a Radiology Technician School near Westwood California
Congratulations on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Westwood CA so you can train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you investigate each of the schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Work Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may practice in Westwood 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 care for their equipment and also frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Westwood CA health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that Westwood CA radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in California or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several provide other options for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous Westwood CA employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve 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 demands re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Westwood CA home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
After you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating Westwood CA x-ray technician schools. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider 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 decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still crucial to verify 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it may 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. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Westwood CA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the California xray technician colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Westwood CA medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing 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 Westwood CA healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Westwood CA residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Westwood CA colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the x-ray tech program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Westwood CA, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Radiologic Technologist?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask radiographer candidates is "What made you choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being an X-Ray tech, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal X-Ray Technician Program near Westwood CA
Choosing the appropriate radiology technician school is an important first step toward starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines 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. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are looking at before making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Westwood CA.
Some Background on Westwood California
Westwood, Los Angeles
Westwood is a commercial and residential neighborhood in the northern central portion of the Westside region of Los Angeles, California. It is the home of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
The 2000 census found the forty-seven thousand people living in the neighborhood were generally young and moderately diverse ethnically, with a generally high level of income and education.
The neighborhood was developed after 1919, with a new campus of the University of California opened in 1926. Other attractions besides the UCLA campus include Westwood Village, with its historic motion picture theaters, restaurants and shopping, Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery and the Hammer Museum. Holmby Hills is considered one of the wealthiest residential areas in Los Angeles, and the Geffen Playhouse attracts theater-goers. A Mormon temple is also prominent.
There are several elementary schools and one middle school in the neighborhood.
The 2000 U.S. census counted 47,916 residents in the 3.68-square-mile Westwood neighborhood—or 13,036 people per square mile, an average population density for the city. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 52,041. The median age for residents was 27, considered young for the city; the percentages of residents aged 19 to 34 was among the county's highest.
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