How to Pick a Radiologic Tech Degree Program near North Little Rock Arkansas
Congrats on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near North Little Rock AR so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you tackle picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you research each of the schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Many students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
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. Regardless of the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in North Little Rock AR clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As North Little Rock AR medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 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 are acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that North Little Rock AR radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arkansas or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria 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 a number approve other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous North Little Rock AR employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often performed in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your North Little Rock AR home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally more affordable than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits 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 best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of finding and assessing North Little Rock AR x-ray technician colleges. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many North Little Rock AR employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the Arkansas xray tech programs you are reviewing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the North Little Rock AR health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with North Little Rock AR healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their North Little Rock AR residence. Students who have chosen 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 importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes 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 enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the North Little Rock AR colleges you are considering what the typical 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 several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in North Little Rock AR, make certain that they are available. 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, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask radiographer candidates is "What drove you to pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being an X-Ray tech, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Right X-Ray Technician Program near North Little Rock AR
Picking the ideal radiology tech school is a crucial first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in North Little Rock AR.
Some Background on North Little Rock Arkansas
North Little Rock, Arkansas
North Little Rock is a city in Pulaski County, Arkansas, United States, across the Arkansas River from Little Rock in the central part of the state. The population was 62,304 at the 2010 census. In 2017 the estimated population was 65,911, making it the seventh-most populous city in the state. North Little Rock, along with Little Rock and Conway, anchors the six-county Little Rock–North Little Rock–Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area (2014 population 729,135), which is further included in the Little Rock-North Little Rock Combined Statistical Area with 902,443 residents.
The city's downtown is anchored in the Argenta Historic District, which draws its name from the original name of the city; the area includes Dickey-Stephens Park, the current home of the Arkansas Travelers minor league baseball team, and Verizon Arena, the metropolitan area's main entertainment venue. Farther west in the city is Burns Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the United States.
North Little Rock has a long history, dating back to the Burial Mound People. It was once known as Argenta, a name that currently applies specifically to downtown North Little Rock. In 1890, Little Rock annexed the unincorporated Argenta community as its Eighth Ward, preempting a competing petition to incorporate Argenta. A neighboring area was incorporated as the Town of North Little Rock in 1901 as part of a plan to reclaim the Eighth Ward from Little Rock. By 1904, the Arkansas Supreme Court allowed the town to annex the Eighth Ward; the modern City of North Little Rock considers this its founding date. The combined city adopted the Argenta name by 1906, but reverted to North Little Rock in October 1917. A remnant of the city's earliest years can be found in North Little Rock City Hall (constructed in 1914), which still contains plaques referring to "Argenta", and contains "C of A" (City of Argenta) ornamental designs.
North Little Rock is located at 34°46′51″N 92°15′25″W / 34.78083°N 92.25694°W / 34.78083; -92.25694 (34.780791, -92.256881).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 47.0 square miles (122 km2), of which 44.8 square miles (116 km2) is land and 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) (4.58%) is water.
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