Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Your State X-Ray Technician Exam
There are a few things to consider when preparing for your X-Ray Technician Exam in California. The ARRT administers the examination for the purpose of state licensing in Limited Scope of Practice in Radiography. While Radiography is a term that isn’t as widely-used these days, and is also sometimes (incorrectly) used interchangeably with Radiology, it’s important to understand the difference. For instance, The technicians or technologists who operate x-ray machines are called radiographers, or x-ray techs and sometimes rad techs. So while radiology is the actual branch of medicine, radiography is the type of technology that radiologists use while out in the field.
For the sake of keeping it simple, and because we’re referring to the exam for X-Ray Technicians, we’ll refer to the test as the X-Ray Technician Exam within this article. Also, keep in mind that State Licensing is Not ARRT Credentialing. In other words, the State X-Ray Technician Exam is administered by The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists® on behalf of your state licensing agency, but state licensing is not ARRT credentialing.
Remember: Take it Step by Step, You’ll Learn the Basics as You Become Familiar with Your New Career
As a new x-ray technician student, this may all seem rather confusing upon first glance. Indeed, we meet many x-ray tech students who aren’t sure of what to expect from the X-Ray Technician Exam or how to prepare for it. It’s always a little scary to begin studying a new career. Don’t get caught-up in wanting to know how hard the test is or if you have what it takes to pass. Like any new career, this is meant to be a step-by-step process. In order to alleviate our students’ nerves, we’ve decided to compile this article, which should lay out a game plan for success.
Tip #1 for X-Ray Technician Exam Success: Go to an Accredited School
We’ve addressed this multiple times in other articles, but it’s important. Finding an ACCSC accredited X-Ray Technician School should be at the top of your list. It’s vital that you do the research to find the best X-Ray Technician school in your area. Look them up and see how long they’ve been in business. How long has the school taught X-Ray and/or Radiology? Do they specialize in teaching Diagnostic Healthcare or are they more of an all-around career college?
Before meeting with the Admissions Advisor, it’s pretty safe to say that most people research the school online. Take a moment to find out about the reputation of the X-Ray school and what others are saying. You’ve probably already searched them on social media platforms, but if not, check out their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Lastly, find out if others recommend the school as a good place to attend if you want to become an X-Ray Tech. Checking sites like Yelp, Facebook (reviews) and Google+ are a great place to start getting a good feel.
Finally, give the X-Ray School a call and ask to speak with their Admissions Advisor. Some schools allow you to set a meeting or request info online as well. When you talk to the Admissions Rep, ask them if the school is ACCSC accredited. Take the time to ask about the curriculum and training provided. How does the school prepare you for the X-Ray Technician Exam? These are all great questions.
Find an All-Inclusive Program to Help Prepare you for the X-Ray Technician Exam
When making a big decision, it’s the little things that count. This is especially true when finding the right X-Ray Technician school for your needs. The best X-Ray Tech schools offer an all-inclusive program that will help prepare you for your X-Ray Technician Exam. But what does all-inclusive mean? For starters, it means you won’t get nickel-and-dimed. You’ll get the most value for your tuition and an overall better education.
To be more specific, you’ll want to find an x-ray school that offers you more than just the X-Ray Tech training. In other words, try and see which school provides the most value on top of simply preparing you for the X-Ray Technician Exam. For instance, some schools will cross-train you as a medical assistant. Others will provide clinical internship as part of their X-Ray Tech program, while others offer books & scrubs as part of the deal. Finally, you may find one school that offers all of the above; that’s when you know you’re working with pros.
Clinical Internship – Practice Makes Perfect for the X-Ray Technician Exam
Clinical Internship is a huge part of your success as an X-Ray Technician. As with most other occupations, you’ll want the absolute maximum amount of hands-on training. This includes both training in the classroom, radiology lab, as well as ultimately, clinical internship. In the latter portion of your X-Ray Technician education, students will begin the combined didactic and clinical phase. You’ll be placed in a facility to continue learning under the supervision of actual clinical professionals. The clinical internship portion of your x-ray training is vital for success because you’ll be in an actual working clinic, alongside other clinic professionals and/or physicians.
When searching for the right X-Ray Technician school, find one that offers built-in clinical internship within their program. Ask questions and make certain that you don’t have to go out and find your own clinical internship. As you can probably imagine, this would be pretty stressful, especially when prepping for the X-Ray Technician Exam. Therefore, it’s best to find a school that offers that all-inclusive program with streamlined clinical internship and clinical placement.
Speak to Professionals Who Have Passed the X-Ray Technician Exam
One of the best ways to get a handle on anything in life is to ask someone who’s already done it. For this reason, it’s a great idea to speak to others who have taken & passed the X-Ray Technician Exam. To do this, you don’t necessarily need to walk into clinics and ask to speak to an X-Ray Tech. Instead, once you find a school you’d like to attend, see if you’re able to speak to the x-ray instructor(s). As mentioned in Tip #1 above, when you’re in front of the Admissions Advisor, ask them if the x-ray technician instructors will work with you on specific challenges.
Speaking to a professional who has passed the X-Ray Technician Exam is also a great way to gain insight. This will give you the confidence and focus-points you need in order to pass it the first time around. Working with a real instructor and radiology professional is also another testament to a great school. You don’t always have this added benefit when learning to become an X-Ray Technician via online classes/certification. So take advantage of the faculty and staff at your disposal — they’re here to help and want you to succeed!
Study & Immerse Yourself in Your New X-Ray Tech Career
Another big thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need to apply yourself. There is no substitute for good old fashioned studying & elbow grease! If this is going to be your career and you’d like to spend your life in Diagnostic Healthcare, then its important to take the time to study. It’s also important to take your career seriously from the start so you won’t need to rush later. Passing the X-Ray Technician Exam should be at the top of your list for the 11-12 months that you’re in school. In the big scheme of things, that time will seem like a small sacrifice in order to get the career of your dreams.
This is also a great time to bring up finding an x-ray tech school that offers a great foundation program. One that teaches not only the basic fundamentals of radiology, radiography and patient care, but provides you with more skills as well. For instance, some x-ray technician schools will cross-train you as a certified medical assistant. This is a huge bonus because it will give you a great foundation in the world of Diagnostic Healthcare.
It will also give you a leg-up on the competition when applying for a job after you pass your X-Ray Technician Exam. Healthcare employers are looking for well-rounded X-Ray Technicians that have a fundamental knowledge of medical assisting / back office skills. Therefore, finding a school that offers MA training as part of its XT curriculum is a a great benefit.
Modern Technology School is the Best Place to Prep for the CA X-Ray Technician Exam
If you were reading the 5 tips above and wondering where to start, you’re not alone. Lucky for you, Modern Technology School has taken the guesswork out of X-Ray education. We’ve been here since 1981 and our X-Ray Technician Program is at the core of our institution. We specialize in providing x-ray students with the skills and education they need to pass the X-Ray Technician Exam in California. Our school is ACCSC Accredited, which means our curriculum, course study, instructors and program are all regulated. This also means that we get it right the first time around, and know what it takes to get our x-ray students out there in the field.
Teaching in small-class sizes with hands-on instruction is part of our students-first philosophy. Our faculty is dedicated to your success and will work with you to understand one section/module before moving on to the next. When it comes to prepping for the X-Ray Technician Exam, nothing beats working in real-life labs, from instructors who have stood in your shoes. Our all-inclusive X-Ray Technician Program also offers Medical Assistant cross-training as part of your curriculum! Clinical Internship is included, as are books & scrubs.
We have an in-house Job Placement & Career Center that will help you with everything from resumes & cover letters, to fielding phone interviews and meeting prospective Healthcare employers. Lastly, we offer Financial Aid to those that qualify and accept the GI Bill if you’re a veteran. Best of all, you can start your career in just 12 months!
Call Modern Technology School at 714-418-9100
Ask for our Friendly Admissions Advisor – Get Your Questions Answered – We Serve Students from All of Southern California!
Our Next X-Ray Technician Class Starts October 16th and Will Prep You For the X-Ray Technician Exam!
*Click here for the 2017 [annual] ARRT Handbook. It provides detailed information on ARRT-administered examination for state licensing in Limited Scope of Practice in Radiography for X-Ray Technicians.