How to Pick an Xray Technician School near Cerritos California
Best wishes regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Cerritos CA so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you tackle picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you investigate each of the colleges you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications as well. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Cerritos CA clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize 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 plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Cerritos CA health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to consider is that Cerritos CA radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements 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 technician program, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number accept other options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Cerritos CA employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification 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 rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a part of any 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 while you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your Cerritos CA residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online school you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing Cerritos CA x-ray tech colleges. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still imperative 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 gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Cerritos CA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the California radiology tech colleges you are interested in have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Cerritos CA health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Cerritos CA healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Cerritos CA residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Cerritos CA schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the x-ray tech school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Cerritos CA, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Radiologic Technologist?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask radiographer prospects is "What compelled you to choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming an Xray technician, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Radiology Tech School near Cerritos CA
Choosing the ideal radiology tech school is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed 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 provide the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Cerritos CA.
Some Background on Cerritos California
Cerritos (Spanish for little hills), formerly named Dairy Valley because of the preponderance of dairy farms in the area, is a suburban city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, and is one of several cities that constitute the Gateway Cities of southeast Los Angeles County. It was incorporated on April 24, 1956. As of the 2010 census, the population was 49,041. It is part of the Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim, California Metropolitan Statistical Area designated by the Office of Management and Budget.
Cerritos was originally inhabited by Native Americans belonging to the Tongva (or "People of the Earth"). Later, the Tongva would be renamed the "Gabrieleños" by the Spanish settlers after the nearby Mission San Gabriel Arcangel. The Gabrieleños were the largest group of Southern California Indians as well as the most developed in the region. The Gabrieleños lived off the land, deriving food from the animals or plants that could be gathered, snared, or hunted, and grinding acorns as a staple.
Beginning in the late 15th century, Spanish explorers arrived in the New World and worked their way to the California coast in 1542. The colonization process included "civilizing" the native populations in California by means of establishing various missions. Soon afterwards, a town called El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula (Los Angeles today) would be founded and prosper with the aid of subjects from New Spain and Native American labor.
One soldier, José Manuel Nieto, was granted a large plot of land by the Spanish King Carlos III, which he named Rancho Los Nietos. It covered 300,000 acres (1,200 km2) of what are today the cities of Cerritos, Long Beach, Lakewood, Downey, Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, part of Whittier, Huntington Beach, Buena Park, and Garden Grove.
The rancho was divided five ways among Nieto's heirs during the nationalization of church property by the Mexican government, with Juan José Nieto retaining the largest plot called Rancho Los Coyotes. Nieto called the area of Rancho Los Coyotes, where Cerritos is located today, "cerritos" or "little hills" although no natural hills exist in modern-day Cerritos.
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