How to Select a Radiology Tech College near Northridge California
Best wishes on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Northridge CA so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifications as well. For instance, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Northridge CA clinics, hospitals, private 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 regularly assess its performance and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Northridge CA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that Northridge CA radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in California or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several provide additional options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many Northridge CA employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually performed in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your Northridge CA home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just be sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Programs
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating Northridge CA x-ray technician colleges. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded 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 undergone a rigorous review of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance 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 acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Northridge CA health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the California radiology tech programs you are assessing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Northridge CA healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Northridge CA healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Northridge CA residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Northridge CA schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Northridge 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 credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Be an X-Ray Tech?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask radiographer applicants is "What made you select radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for being an X-Ray tech, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare several ideas about how you would like to address them. Because there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Radiology Tech Program near Northridge CA
Enrolling in the right x-ray technician school is an important first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Northridge CA.
Some Background on Northridge California
Northridge, Los Angeles
Northridge is a neighborhood of Los Angeles, California in the San Fernando Valley. It is the home of California State University, Northridge, as well as eleven public and eight private schools.
Originally named Zelzah, the community was renamed North Los Angeles in 1929 to emphasize its closeness to the booming city. This created confusion with Los Angeles and North Hollywood. At the suggestion of a civic leader, the community was renamed Northridge in 1938. Northridge can trace its history back to the Gabrielino (or Tongva) people and to Spanish explorers. Its territory was later sold by the Mexican governor to Eulogio de Celis, whose heirs divided it for sale.
The area has been the home of notable people, and it has notable attractions and points of interest. Residents have access to a municipal recreation center and a public swimming pool.
The 2000 U.S. census counted 57,561 residents in the 9.47-square-mile (24.5 km2) Northridge neighborhood—or 6,080 people per square mile (2,350/km2), among the lowest population densities for the city. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 61,993. In 2000 the median age for residents was 32, about average for city and county neighborhoods; the percentage of residents aged 19 to 34 was among the county's highest. 
The neighborhood was considered "highly diverse" ethnically within Los Angeles, with a high percentage of Asian people. The breakdown was whites, 49.5%; Latinos, 26.1%; Asians, 14.5%; blacks, 5.4%; and others, 4.6%. Mexico (24.7%) and the Philippines (9.8%) were the most common places of birth for the 31.8% of the residents who were born abroad—an average figure for Los Angeles.
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