How to Choose an X-Ray Tech Program near Lakewood California
Best wishes regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Lakewood CA in order to become a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the right college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you investigate each of the schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are additional important qualifiers also. For instance, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the colleges you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Lakewood CA hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and routinely assess its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Lakewood CA medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. 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 techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that Lakewood CA radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled 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 will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in California or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous Lakewood CA employers would rather 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 as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually provided in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Lakewood CA home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently cheaper than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just confirm that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of finding and assessing Lakewood CA x-ray tech schools. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still important to verify 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 gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Lakewood CA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the California xray tech programs you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Lakewood CA medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Lakewood CA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Lakewood CA home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Lakewood CA schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher 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 an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Lakewood CA, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask radiographer applicants is "What made you pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Right X-Ray Tech College near Lakewood CA
Picking the best radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are looking at before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Lakewood CA.
Some Background on Lakewood California
Lakewood is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 80,048 at the 2010 census. It is bordered by Long Beach on the west and south, Bellflower on the north, Cerritos on the northeast, Cypress on the east, and Hawaiian Gardens on the southeast. Major thoroughfares include Lakewood (SR 19), Bellflower, and Del Amo Boulevards and Carson and South Streets. The San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) runs through the city's eastern regions.
Sometimes called "an instant city" because of its origins, going from lima bean fields in 1950 to a well-developed city by 1960, Lakewood is a classic example of a post–World War II American suburb.
Lakewood is a planned, post-World War II community. Developers Louis Boyar, Mark Taper and Ben Weingart are credited with "altering forever the map of Southern California." Begun in late 1949, the completion of the developers' plan in 1953 helped in the transformation of mass-produced housing from its early phases in the 1930s and 1940s to the reality of the 1950s.
WWII veterans could get home loans with no down payment and a 30-year mortgage at only 4 percent interest. On the first day of sales, on March 24, 1950, an estimated 30,000 people lined up to walk through a row of seven model houses. By the end of April, more than 200,000 people had flocked to the Lakewood Park sales office and more than 1,000 families had purchased homes (30 per day on average). Once, 107 homes sold in just one hour. The monthly cost was $44 to $56, including principal, interest and insurance.
The building of Lakewood broke records. Empty fields became 17,500 houses in less than three years. A new house was completed every 7 1/2 minutes, 40 to 60 houses per day, with a record 110 completed in a single day.
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