How to Select an X-Ray Technician Program near Costa Mesa California
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Costa Mesa CA in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the right school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you investigate each of the colleges you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are other significant qualifications also. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to use 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 practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Costa Mesa CA hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with 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 evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Costa Mesa CA medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that Costa Mesa CA radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in California or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Costa Mesa CA employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often performed in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Costa Mesa CA home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating Costa Mesa CA x-ray tech schools. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of 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 gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Costa Mesa CA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the California radiology technician colleges you are assessing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Costa Mesa CA healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Costa Mesa CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Costa Mesa CA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program 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 frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Costa Mesa CA schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the x-ray tech school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Costa Mesa CA, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask radiographer applicants is "What drove you to decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Best Radiology Technician School near Costa Mesa CA
Enrolling in the appropriate x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Costa Mesa CA.
Some Background on Costa Mesa California
Costa Mesa, California
Costa Mesa is a city in Orange County, California. Since its incorporation in 1953, the city has grown from a semi-rural farming community of 16,840 to a primarily suburban and edge city with an economy based on retail, commerce, and light manufacturing. The population was 109,960 at the 2010 United States Census.
Members of the Gabrieleño/Tongva and Juaneño/Luiseño nations long inhabited the area. After the 1769 expedition of Gaspar de Portolà, a Spanish expedition led by Junípero Serra named the area Vallejo de Santa Ana (Valley of Saint Anne). On November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano became the area's first permanent European settlement in Alta California, New Spain.
In 1801, the Spanish Empire granted 62,500 acres (253 km2) to Jose Antonio Yorba, which he named Rancho San Antonio. Yorba's great rancho included the lands where the communities of Olive, Orange, Villa Park, Santa Ana, Tustin, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach stand today.
After the Mexican-American war, California became part of the United States and American settlers arrived in this area and formed the town of Fairview in the 1880s near the modern intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Adams Avenue. An 1889 flood wiped out the railroad serving the community, however, and it shriveled.
More Cities of Interest in California