How to Find an Xray Technician Degree Program near La Canada Flintridge California
Best wishes regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near La Canada Flintridge CA in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s essential that you assess each of the schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in La Canada Flintridge CA hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with 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 routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As La Canada Flintridge CA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to consider is that La Canada Flintridge CA radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing 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 school, based on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number provide additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous La Canada Flintridge CA employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
As a part of any 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 while you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your La Canada Flintridge CA residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online school you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing La Canada Flintridge CA x-ray tech schools. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? Most xray technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still crucial to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of La Canada Flintridge CA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the California xray technician programs you are reviewing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals 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 practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the La Canada Flintridge CA healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with La Canada Flintridge CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their La Canada Flintridge CA residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the La Canada Flintridge CA colleges you are reviewing 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 students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in La Canada Flintridge CA, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Desire to Become an X-Ray Tech?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask radiographer candidates is "What compelled you to decide on radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming an Xray technician, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Enroll in the Right Radiology Technician School near La Canada Flintridge CA
Selecting the right x-ray technician degree program is an important first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a x-ray tech in La Canada Flintridge CA.
Some Background on La Canada Flintridge California
La Cañada Flintridge, California
La Cañada Flintridge is a city in Los Angeles County, California, with a population of 20,246 in 2010. It is located in the Crescenta Valley and far western end of the San Gabriel Valley, to the northwest of Pasadena. It is the home of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA.
During the Spanish and Mexican eras, the area was known as Rancho La Cañada. Before the city's incorporation in 1976, it consisted of two distinct communities, La Cañada and Flintridge. La Cañada comes from the Spanish word cañada (pronounced "canyada"), meaning canyon, gorge, or ravine; Flintridge was named after its developer, United States Senator Frank P. Flint.
Flintridge comprises the southern part of the city, covering the northern flank of the San Rafael Hills, but more generally including most areas south of Foothill Blvd. The eastern part, even north of Foothill Blvd., was also originally considered Flintridge and is still home to the Flintridge Riding Club and Flintridge Preparatory School.
Reference to the entire city is often shortened to just "La Cañada" or seldomly to just "Flintridge". The full city name specifically does not have a hyphen in it, to illustrate unity between the two communities that became one.
In a 2015 issue of Forbes, La Cañada Flintridge ranked as the 121st most expensive U.S. city.
More Cities of Interest in California