How to Choose a Radiology Tech Degree Program near San Fernando California
Congratulations regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near San Fernando CA so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about choosing the right college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you assess each of the schools you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the colleges you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in San Fernando CA clinics, hospitals, family 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 have to care for their equipment plus frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As San Fernando CA medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that San Fernando CA radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in California or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so check with 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 additional options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous San Fernando CA employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually provided in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your San Fernando CA residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of locating and assessing San Fernando CA x-ray tech colleges. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on 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 premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid 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 a number of San Fernando CA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire 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 way to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the San Fernando CA healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with San Fernando CA healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their San Fernando CA residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally 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 person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the San Fernando CA colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the x-ray tech school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in San Fernando CA, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become an X-Ray Tech?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask radiographer candidates is "What compelled you to decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a radiology technician, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare some approaches about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Pick the Right X-Ray Technician College near San Fernando CA
Enrolling in the appropriate x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in San Fernando CA.
Some Background on San Fernando California
San Fernando, California
San Fernando is a city in the San Fernando Valley, in the northwestern region of Los Angeles County, California. It is surrounded by the City of Los Angeles.
The city was named for the nearby Mission San Fernando Rey de España (which in turn was named after St. Ferdinand), and was part of the Mexican land grant of Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando. In 1874 Charles Maclay, San Fernando founder, bought 56,000 acres (227 km2) of the Rancho. In 1882, cousins George K. Porter and Benjamin F. Porter of future Porter Ranch each received one-third of the total land. In 1885, Maclay founded the Maclay School of Theology, a Methodist seminary in his newly founded town of San Fernando. After his death it became an affiliate and moved to the campus of the University of Southern California and then the Claremont School of Theology.
While most of the towns in the surrounding San Fernando Valley agreed to annexation by Los Angeles in the 1910s, eager to tap the bountiful water supply provided by the newly opened Los Angeles Aqueduct, San Fernando's abundant groundwater supplies allowed it to remain a separate city. Even as the San Fernando Valley transformed itself from an agricultural area to a suburban one in the decades after World War II, San Fernando retained its independence.
As with much of the San Fernando Valley east of the San Diego Freeway, the city of San Fernando has seen a significant demographic shift in recent years. Declining birth-rates and an aging population of middle-class Caucasians, who once dominated the area in the 1950s, has contributed to the movement into other parts of the San Fernando Valley. There has also been movement into the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys to the north. Latinos became the majority population (the largest percentage in the Greater Los Angeles area at 90 percent as of 2015). Since late 2004, the city has been going through a series of planning development projects, that can be defined as gentrification.
San Fernando is completely surrounded by the city of Los Angeles, with the districts of Sylmar to the north, Lake View Terrace to the east, Pacoima to the south, and Mission Hills to the west. It is served by the Golden State (Interstate 5), Foothill (Interstate 210), Ronald Reagan (State Route 118), and San Diego (Interstate 405) freeways.
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