How to Pick an X-Ray Technician School near Fountain Valley California
Congrats on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Fountain Valley CA in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the ideal school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the colleges you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). 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 major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Fountain Valley CA clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 and regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Fountain Valley CA health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that Fountain Valley CA radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in California or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many provide other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Fountain Valley CA employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve 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 calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually performed in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Fountain Valley CA residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing Fountain Valley CA x-ray tech schools. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still crucial to make sure that the school and program 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive review of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Fountain Valley CA health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the California xray technician schools you are interested in have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Fountain Valley CA health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Fountain Valley CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly 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 Fountain Valley CA residence. Those 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 concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Fountain Valley CA colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the x-ray tech school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Fountain Valley CA, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Radiology Technician?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask radiographer applicants is "What compelled you to pick radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming an Xray technician, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should organize some ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Right X-Ray Technician College near Fountain Valley CA
Enrolling in the best x-ray tech 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 condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get 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 medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Fountain Valley CA.
Some Background on Fountain Valley California
Fountain Valley, California
Fountain Valley is a suburban city in Orange County, California. The population was 55,313 at the 2010 census. A classic commuter town, Fountain Valley is an upper middle-class residential area.
The area encompassing Fountain Valley was originally inhabited by the Tongva people. European settlement of the area began when Manuel Nieto was granted the land for Rancho Los Nietos, which encompassed over 300,000 acres (1,200 km2), including present-day Fountain Valley. Control of the land was subsequently transferred to Mexico upon independence from Spain, and then to the United States as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
The city was incorporated in 1957, before which it was known as Talbert (also as Gospel Swamps by residents). The name of Fountain Valley refers to the very high water table in the area at the time the name was chosen, and the many corresponding artesian wells in the area. Early settlers constructed drainage canals to make the land usable for agriculture, which remained the dominant use of land until the 1960s, when construction of large housing tracts accelerated. The first mayor of Fountain Valley was James Kanno, who with this appointment became the first Japanese-American mayor of a mainland United States city.
After the Fall of Saigon in 1975, there was a large influx of Vietnamese refugees settling in Fountain Valley, especially in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, forming a large percentage of Asian Americans in the city.
The city is located southwest and northeast of the San Diego Freeway (Interstate 405), which diagonally bisects the city, and is surrounded by Huntington Beach on the south and west, Westminster and Garden Grove on the north, Santa Ana on the northeast, and Costa Mesa on the southeast. Its eastern border is the Santa Ana River.
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