How to Choose a Radiology Tech College near Alhambra California
Congrats on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Alhambra CA so you can become a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about selecting the right college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you research each of the schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the colleges you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Alhambra CA clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment plus frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Alhambra CA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally takes 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. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to consider is that Alhambra CA radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their area. Once you have graduated from one 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.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many Alhambra CA employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges 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 amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually provided in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Alhambra CA residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just make certain that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating Alhambra CA x-ray tech schools. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still crucial to verify that the program and school 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program 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 recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Alhambra CA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the California xray technician programs you are interested in have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Alhambra CA healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alhambra CA healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Alhambra CA home. Those who have decided to attend online classes 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Alhambra CA schools you are researching what the average student to teacher 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 instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Alhambra CA, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Decide to Be an Xray Technician?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask radiographer prospects is "What compelled you to select radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being an Xray technician, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best Radiology Tech School near Alhambra CA
Picking the ideal x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiology tech in Alhambra CA.
Some Background on Alhambra California
Alhambra (/ælˈhæmbrə/ ( listen) or /ɑːlˈhɑːmbrə/ ( listen)) is a city located in the western San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County, California, United States, approximately eight miles from the Downtown Los Angeles civic center. It was incorporated on July 11, 1903. As of the 2010 census, the population was 83,089. The city's ZIP codes are 91801 and 91803 (plus 91802 for P.O. boxes).
Alhambra's roots begin with the San Gabriel Mission, founded on September 8, 1771, and the native people, Tongva, who inhabited the area before the arrival of the Spanish. The land that would later become Alhambra was part of a 300,000 acre land grant given to Manuel Nieto by the Spanish. In 1820 Mexico won its independence from the Spanish crown and lands once ruled by them became part of the Mexican Republic. These lands then transferred into the hands of the United States following the defeat in the Mexican–American War. A wealthy developer, Benjamin Davis Wilson, married Ramona Yorba, daughter of Bernardo Yorba, who owned the land which would become Alhambra. With the persuasion of his daughter, Ruth, Yorba named the land after a book she was reading, Washington Irving's Tales of the Alhambra, which he was inspired to write by his extended visit to the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain. Alhambra was founded as a suburb of Los Angeles that remained an unincorporated area during the mid-19th century. The first school in Alhambra was Ramona Convent Secondary School, built on hillside property donated by the prominent James de Barth Shorb family. Thirteen years before the city was incorporated, several prominent San Gabriel Valley families interested in the Catholic education of their daughters established the school in 1890. The city's first public high school, Alhambra High School, was established in 1898, five years before the city's incorporation. On July 11, 1903, the City of Alhambra was incorporated. The Alhambra Fire Department was established in 1906.
Alhambra was originally promoted as a "city of homes", and many of its homes have historical significance. They include styles such as craftsman, bungalow, Spanish Mediterranean, Spanish colonial, Italian beaux-arts, and arts and crafts. Twenty-six single-family residential areas have been designated historic neighborhoods by the city, including the Bean Tract (formerly owned by early resident Jacob Bean), the Midwick Tract (site of the former Midwick Country Club), the Airport Tract (formerly the landing pad for Alhambra Airport), and the Emery Park area. There are also a large number of condominiums, rental apartments, and mixed-use residential/commercial buildings, especially in the downtown area.
Alhambra's main business district, at the intersection of Main and Garfield, has been a center of commerce since 1895. By the 1950s, it had taken on an upscale look and was "the" place to go in the San Gabriel Valley. While many of the classic historical buildings have been torn down over the years, the rebuilding of Main Street has led to numerous dining, retail, and entertainment establishments. Alhambra has experienced waves of new immigrants, beginning with Italians in the 1950s, Mexicans in the 1960s, and Chinese in the 1980s. As a result, a very active Chinese business district has developed on Valley Boulevard, including Chinese supermarkets, restaurants, shops, banks, realtors, and medical offices. The Valley Boulevard corridor has become a national hub for many Asian-owned bank headquarters, and there are other nationally recognised retailers in the city.
More Cities of Interest in California