How to Select a Radiologic Tech School near Cypress California
Best wishes on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Cypress CA so you can train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the colleges you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are additional important qualifiers also. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Cypress CA hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment plus routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Cypress CA medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray 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 common among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that Cypress CA radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in California or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many approve additional options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many Cypress CA employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Cypress CA home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally cheaper than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting 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 dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of locating and evaluating Cypress CA x-ray technician schools. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still crucial to make sure 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also receive 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. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Cypress CA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the California radiology technician programs you are assessing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Cypress CA health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Cypress CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Cypress CA home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need 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.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Cypress CA schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students 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 select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Cypress 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 need to enroll in. 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 Be an X-Ray Tech?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask radiographer applicants is "What made you pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Enroll in the Right X-Ray Tech School near Cypress CA
Choosing the appropriate radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Cypress CA.
Some Background on Cypress California
Cypress is a city in northern Orange County within Southern California. Its population was 47,802 at the 2010 census.
The first people living in the area now known as Cypress were the Gabrieleno, a Native American tribe of the Tongva people, who were displaced soon after the arrival of the Europeans. The government of Spain then possessed the land until Mexico gained its independence in 1821. Mexico then lost Alta California to the United States during the period following the Bear Flag Revolt and the Mexican-American War.
The original Spanish dons held immense tracts of land throughout California, which were given in lieu of pay to Spanish soldiers. Manuel Nieto was one of the early Spanish dons or landowners in the area. After his death in 1804, his sons retained title to Rancho Los Nietos, but these lands were eventually broken up and distributed among them in 1833 by a grant from the Mexican governor, José Figueroa. Manuel's son, Juan José Nieto, retained the title to a large portion of his father's original properties in southern California that included the present-day area of Cypress. That land and other Rancho properties were finally sold to the American Abel Stearns, then acquired by the Robinson Trust, a group of investors, which eventually parlayed their holdings into a vast land speculation business.
Cypress originally was nicknamed "Waterville" due to the preponderance of artesian wells in the area, but was incorporated under the name Dairy City in 1956 by local dairy farmers as a means of staving off developers and to preserve their dairies, much like the then-neighboring cities of Dairy Valley in Cerritos and Dairyland in La Palma. After World War II, however, the land became too valuable for farming or ranching, and the dairies gradually sold out to housing developers during the 1960s, so that by the 1970s no dairies remained. Many of the dairymen moved their operations to Chino, where development is once again pushing them out of the area.
In 1957 local residents voted to change the name of "Dairy City" to "Cypress". The name was taken from Cypress Elementary School (originally built in 1895) which took its name from the Cypress trees planted to protect the schoolhouse from the seasonal Santa Ana winds. Cypress Elementary School also provided the name for new Pacific Electric Railway station on Walker Street at Lincoln Avenue when the Santa Ana Line was completed in 1906, as "Waterville" already had been used elsewhere in the system.
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