How to Choose an Xray Technician College near Palos Verdes Peninsula California
Best wishes on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Palos Verdes Peninsula CA in order to learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you investigate each of the schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the colleges you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same principal 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 administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Palos Verdes Peninsula CA hospitals, clinics, family 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 have to care for their equipment and routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Palos Verdes Peninsula CA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 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 similar majors that are acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that Palos Verdes Peninsula CA radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in California or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites 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 a number offer other options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Palos Verdes Peninsula CA employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in area 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 Palos Verdes Peninsula CA home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently cheaper than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just confirm that the online college you choose 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 online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing Palos Verdes Peninsula CA x-ray technician schools. You will also need 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 school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to verify that the program and school 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets 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 quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Palos Verdes Peninsula CA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the California xray tech schools you are assessing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Palos Verdes Peninsula CA healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer 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 substantial networks and good relationships with Palos Verdes Peninsula CA healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Palos Verdes Peninsula CA home. Those who have decided 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 importance. One thing to keep 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Palos Verdes Peninsula CA schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student 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 speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Palos Verdes Peninsula CA, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Be an Xray Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask radiographer prospects is "What drove you to decide on radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a radiology technician, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Right Radiology Technician Program near Palos Verdes Peninsula CA
Enrolling in the right radiology tech college is a critical first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the proper training and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Palos Verdes Peninsula CA.
Some Background on Palos Verdes Peninsula California
Palos Verdes Peninsula
The Palos Verdes Peninsula (from Spanish Palos Verdes: Green sticks) is a landform and a geographic sub-region of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, within southwestern Los Angeles County in the U.S. state of California. Located in the South Bay region, the peninsula contains a group of affluent cities in the Palos Verdes Hills, including Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates. The South Bay city of Torrance borders the peninsula on the north, the Pacific Ocean is on the west and south, and the Port of Los Angeles is east.
The hill cities on the peninsula are known for dramatic ocean and city views, distinguished schools, extensive horse trails, and high value homes.
The peninsula was the homeland of the Tongva-Gabrieliño Native Americans people for thousands of years. In other areas of the Los Angeles Basin archeological sites date back 8,000 years. Their first contact with Europeans occurred in 1542 with João Cabrilho (Juan Cabrillo). Chowigna and Suangna were two Tongva settlements of many in the peninsula area, which was also a departure point for their rancherías on the Channel Islands.
In 1846 José Dolores Sepúlveda and José Loreto received a Mexican land grant from Alta California Governor Pío Pico for a parcel from the huge original 1784 Spanish land grant of Rancho San Pedro to Manuel Dominguez. It was named Rancho de los Palos Verdes, or "ranch of the green sticks", which was used primarily as a cattle ranch. It was also a whaling station in the mid-19th century, albeit only for a brief period.
By 1882 ownership of the land had passed from the Sepulveda family through various mortgage holders to Jotham Bixby of Rancho Los Cerritos, who leased the land to Japanese farmers.
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