How to Become a Radiology Technician near West Memphis Arkansas
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near West Memphis AR in order to train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are other important qualifications also. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiology technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Description in West Memphis AR
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical major job function, 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 treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in West Memphis AR hospitals, clinics, 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 and routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees near West Memphis AR
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech program 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 typical among techs, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in West Memphis AR or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Arkansas or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous West Memphis area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around West Memphis AR to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically conducted in West Memphis AR family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your West Memphis home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just confirm that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
After you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near West Memphis AR. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of West Memphis AR health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the radiology tech schools you are reviewing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the West Memphis AR health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in West Memphis AR in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arkansas healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their West Memphis AR home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the West Memphis AR colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the West Memphis AR area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering X-ray Tech School near West Memphis AR?
If you are considering enrolling in a radiology tech school near West Memphis AR, following is some interesting background information that may assist you in making your decision to live in that area.
West Memphis, Arkansas
West Memphis is the largest city in Crittenden County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 26,245 at the 2010 census, ranking it as the state's 18th largest city, behind Bella Vista. It is part of the Memphis metropolitan area, and is located directly across the Mississippi River from Memphis.
Native Americans lived in the Mississippi River Valley for at least 10,000 years, although much of the evidence of their presence has been buried or destroyed. The Indians of the Mississippian Period were the last native inhabitants of the West Memphis area. Mound City Road, located within the eastern portion of the West Memphis city limits, has a marker indicating that the villages of Aquixo (Aquijo) or Pacaha were in the area. Several mounds are still visible.
Explorers from both Spain and France visited the area near West Memphis. Among those explorers were Hernando de Soto and his men from Spain and Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet from France. By the time French hunters and explorers entered the region, the Mississippian towns and other settlements had been abandoned. The original site of West Memphis came from Spanish land grants issued during the 1790s. Grants were given to Benjamin Fooy, John Henry Fooy, and Isaac Fooy in the Hopefield (Crittenden County) area and to William McKenney in the Bridgeport-West Memphis area.
Choose the Ideal X-Ray Tech School near West Memphis AR
Enrolling in the best radiology technician school is an important first step toward starting a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in West Memphis AR.
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