How to Choose a Radiologic Tech Degree Program near Edwards California
Best wishes regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Edwards CA in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Edwards CA clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might 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 and regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Edwards CA medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that Edwards CA radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements 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 technician school, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many accept other alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many Edwards CA employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a part 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 schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often performed in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Edwards CA residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Colleges
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating Edwards CA x-ray tech colleges. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still important to make sure that the school and program 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Edwards 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 schools you are assessing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Edwards CA medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Edwards CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Edwards CA residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Edwards CA colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student 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 an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Edwards CA, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Desire to Become an Xray Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask radiographer applicants is "What compelled you to select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming an Xray technician, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Select the Ideal X-Ray Technician Program near Edwards CA
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology tech degree program is an important first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray 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 pleasant work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Edwards CA.
Some Background on Edwards California
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: EDW, ICAO: KEDW, FAA LID: EDW) is a United States Air Force installation located in Kern County in southern California, about 22 miles (35 km) northeast of Lancaster and 15 miles (24 km) east of Rosamond.
It is the home of the Air Force Test Center, Air Force Test Pilot School, and NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center. It is the Air Force Materiel Command center for conducting and supporting research and development of flight, as well as testing and evaluating aerospace systems from concept to combat. It is also hosts many test activities conducted by America's commercial aerospace industry.
Previously known as Muroc Air Force Base, Edwards AFB is named in honor of Captain Glen Edwards (1918–1948). During World War II, he flew A-20 Havoc light attack bombers in the North African campaign on 50 hazardous, low-level missions against German tanks, convoys, troops, bridges, airfields, and other tactical targets. Edwards became a test pilot in 1943 and spent much of his time at Muroc Army Air Field, on California's high desert, testing wide varieties of experimental prototype aircraft. He died in the crash of a Northrop YB-49 flying wing near Muroc AFB on 5 June 1948.
The base is next to Rogers Dry Lake, an endorheic desert salt pan whose hard dry lake surface provides a natural extension to Edwards' runways. This large landing area, combined with excellent year-round weather, makes the base good for flight testing. The lake is a National Historic Landmark.
The base has helped develop virtually every aircraft purchased by the Air Force since World War II. Almost every United States military aircraft since the 1950s has been at least partially tested at Edwards, and it has been the site of many aviation breakthroughs.
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