How to Choose an Xray Tech Degree Program near Laguna Beach California
Best wishes on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Laguna Beach CA so you can become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you assess each of the colleges you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are other important qualifications as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials 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 referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer 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 can practice in Laguna Beach 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 and regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Laguna Beach CA health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The standard requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to consider is that Laguna Beach CA radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in California or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many accept other options for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous Laguna Beach CA employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically provided in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Laguna Beach CA residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often more affordable than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online college you pick 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 an online school may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating Laguna Beach CA x-ray technician colleges. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still important to verify 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 gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged 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 securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Laguna Beach CA health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the California radiology technician schools you are assessing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Laguna Beach CA health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Laguna Beach CA healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Laguna Beach CA residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Laguna Beach CA colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the x-ray tech college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Laguna Beach CA, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure 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 getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask radiographer candidates is "What compelled you to choose radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal X-Ray Tech Program near Laguna Beach CA
Enrolling in the best x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed 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 interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Laguna Beach CA.
Some Background on Laguna Beach California
Laguna Beach, California
Laguna Beach is a seaside resort city located in southern Orange County, California, in the United States. It is known for a mild year-round climate, scenic coves, environmental preservation, and an artist community. The population in the 2010 census was 22,723.
Historically a territory of Paleoindians, the Tongva people and then Mexico, the location became part of the United States following the Mexican–American War. Laguna Beach was settled in the 1870s, officially founded in 1887 and, in 1927 its current government was incorporated as a city. In 1944, the city adopted a council-manager form for its government. The city has remained relatively isolated from urban encroachment by its surrounding hills, limited highway access, and a dedicated greenbelt. The Laguna Beach coastline is protected by 5.88 miles (9.46 km) of state marine reserve and an additional 1.21 miles (1.95 km) of state conservation area.
Tourism is the primary industry with an estimated three million people visiting the community annually. Annual large events include the Pageant of the Masters, Festival of Arts, Sawdust Art Festival, Art-A-Fair, Bluewater Music Festival, and Kelpfest.
Laguna Beach was the site of a prehistoric paleoindian civilization. In 1933, the first fossilized skull of a paleoindian found in California was uncovered during construction on St. Ann's Drive. Known as "Laguna Woman", the skull originally was radiocarbon dated to more than 17,000 BP, however, revised measurements suggest it originated during the Holocene era 11,700 years before present. Subsequent research has found several prehistoric encampment sites in the area.
Historically, the indigenous people of the Laguna Beach area were the Tongva. Aliso Creek served as a territorial boundary between Gabrieleno and Acjachemen groups, or Juanenos, named by Spanish missionaries who first encountered them in the 1500s. The area of Laguna Canyon was named on an 1841 Mexican land grant map as, Cañada de las Lagunas (English:Glen of the Lagoons). After the Mexican-American War ended in 1848, the area of Alta California was ceded to the United States. The treaty provided that Mexican land grants be honored and Rancho San Joaquin, which included north Laguna Beach, was granted to José Antonio Andres Sepúlveda. Following a drought in 1864, Sepúlveda sold the property to James Irvine. The majority of Laguna Beach was one of the few parcels of coastal land in Southern California that never was included in any Mexican land grant.
More Cities of Interest in California