How to Select an Xray Tech College in Arkansas
Best wishes regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school in Arkansas in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you investigate each of the colleges you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the colleges you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Arkansas clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize 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 also regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Arkansas health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The standard requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that Arkansas radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Arkansas or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several approve other options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Arkansas employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a component of every degree program, Arkansas 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 while you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Arkansas residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often more affordable than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just be sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of finding and evaluating Arkansas x-ray technician schools. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still imperative to make sure 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it might also receive 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. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Arkansas health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the Arkansas xray tech colleges you are interested in have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Arkansas healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arkansas 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 Arkansas residence. Students who have decided 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 concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Arkansas schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the x-ray tech college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Arkansas, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Select the Right Radiology Tech College in Arkansas
Picking the right x-ray technician degree program is an important first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians 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 good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are considering before making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the right education and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Arkansas.