How to Select an X-Ray Tech Degree Program near Calabasas California
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Calabasas CA in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you assess each of the colleges you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For example, you must ask 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 evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Calabasas CA hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Calabasas CA health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that Calabasas CA radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in their area. Once 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 working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites 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 a number offer other options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many Calabasas CA employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often performed in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Calabasas CA residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less expensive than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just be sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing Calabasas CA x-ray tech schools. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations 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 securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Calabasas CA health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the California xray tech schools you are evaluating have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Calabasas CA healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Calabasas CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Calabasas CA home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student 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 permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Calabasas CA schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the x-ray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Calabasas CA, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become an X-Ray Tech?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask radiographer prospects is "What drove you to decide on radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming an Xray technician, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best Radiology Technician School near Calabasas CA
Selecting the ideal radiology technician school is an important first step toward launching a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are looking at before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Calabasas CA.
Some Background on Calabasas California
Calabasas is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, located in the hills west of the San Fernando Valley and in the northwest Santa Monica Mountains between Woodland Hills, Agoura Hills, West Hills, Hidden Hills, and Malibu, California. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 23,058, up from 20,033 at the 2000 census. The city was formally incorporated in 1991.
The Leonis Adobe, an adobe structure in Old Town Calabasas, dates from 1844 and is one of the oldest surviving buildings in greater Los Angeles.
It is generally accepted that the name of Calabasas is derived from the Spanish calabaza meaning "pumpkin", "squash", or "gourd" (cf. calabash). Some historians hold the theory that Calabasas is derived from the Chumash word calahoosa which is said to mean "where the wild geese fly." Owing to vast presence of wild squash plants in the area, the squash theory is more prevalent among local residents. At the top of the Calabasas grade, which is east of Las Virgenes Road on the original El Camino Real, legend has it that in 1824, a Basque rancher from Oxnard spilled a wagonload of pumpkins on the road en route to Los Angeles. The following spring, hundreds of pumpkin seeds sprouted alongside the road. The area was named Las Calabasas—the place where the pumpkins fell.
In honor of its namesake, the City of Calabasas and the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce hold an annual Pumpkin Festival in October, including carnival games, exhibits, demonstrations, and live entertainment. The festival has evolved from a small-town fair to a significant annual event. Though the current Pumpkin Festival is held at Juan Bautista de Anza Park in Calabasas, the original festival was believed to have taken place where the traveling wagon carrying pumpkins overturned and started the area's first pumpkin patch.
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