How to Select a Radiologic Tech Program near Lakeside California
Best wishes on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Lakeside CA in order to become a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the right college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you research each of the schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers as well. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the colleges you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Job Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). 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 principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Lakeside CA clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment plus regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Lakeside CA medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that Lakeside CA radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in their region. 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 practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous Lakeside CA employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
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 no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Lakeside CA home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just confirm that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating Lakeside CA x-ray technician colleges. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected 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 undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also receive 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. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Lakeside CA health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the California radiology tech colleges you are assessing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Lakeside CA healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Lakeside CA healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Lakeside CA home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Lakeside CA schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the x-ray tech college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Lakeside CA, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Become an Xray 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 hiring managers frequently ask radiographer prospects is "What made you select radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a radiology technician, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Best X-Ray Technician School near Lakeside CA
Picking the appropriate radiology tech degree program is an important first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct 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 techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Lakeside CA.
Some Background on Lakeside California
Lakeside is a census designated place (CDP) in San Diego County, California. The population was 20,648 at the 2010 census, up from 19,560 as of the 2000 census.
Lakeside was founded in 1886 when 6,600 acres of land surrounding the naturally occurring Lindo Lake were purchased by the El Cajon Valley Land Company, who immediately began to promote the new land as a town and built an 80-room Victorian-style inn, the Lakeside Hotel, at a cost of $50,000 (approximately $1,220,000 today). Three years later, in 1889, Lakeside became connected to the railroad system, and small businesses began to spring up, firmly establishing Lakeside as a bustling community. In 1904, John H. Gay bought the Lakeside Hotel and fenced off the park surrounding Lindo Lake, claiming both as part of his estate. He then proceeded to construct an automobile and horse racetrack around the lake, which became famous when Barney Oldfield set a new land speed record when visiting for the track's opening in 1907. The inn and racetrack became a popular gathering place for millionaires and celebrities and consistently drew large crowds by train to watch the races held there, but both were demolished upon Gay's wishes at his death in 1920.
Lakeside has long held a reputation as a "cowboy town" and "rodeo town," due to the rural setting, the prevalence of ranches and the abundant horse ownership in the area, as well as hosting an 8-acre (32,000 m2) permanent rodeo facility, the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds. The venue is manned and maintained by the El Capitan Stadium Association, an all-volunteer group who aims to assist and support the youth of Lakeside by donating all proceeds from facility rentals to local sports and service, as well as education grants. Notable rodeos include the PRCA-sanctioned Lakeside Rodeo, part of their California circuit and usually occurring on the last weekend in April, regularly drawing over 20,000 observers to the arena, as well as the Lakeside Optimists' Bulls Only Rodeo in July.
During the middle of the 20th century, Lakeside was home to significant Native American, Spanish-speaking and Filipino populations.
Many social and service groups are very active in Lakeside including VFW, Elks, Optimist, Soroptimist, 4-H, FFA, Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, PLAY, United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps, youth soccer, baseball and football leagues, and the Cactus Park BMX track. The U.S. Navy maintains two large housing sites for military dependents in the town.
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