How to Become a Radiology Technician near West Helena Arkansas
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near West Helena AR so you can train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you tackle selecting the ideal college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Summary in West Helena AR
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in West Helena AR hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and also routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees near West Helena AR
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in West Helena AR or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Arkansas or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve additional options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous West Helena area employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around West Helena 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 calls for re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically conducted in West Helena AR family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your West Helena home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just confirm that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near West Helena AR. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still crucial to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed review of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many West Helena AR health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are assessing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the West Helena AR medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in West Helena AR in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arkansas healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their West Helena AR home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the West Helena AR schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor 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 opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the West Helena AR area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering X-ray Tech School near West Helena AR?
If you are considering enrolling in a radiology tech school near West Helena AR, following is some interesting background information that may assist you in making your decision to live in that area.
Helena–West Helena, Arkansas
Helena–West Helena is the county seat of and the largest city within Phillips County, Arkansas, United States. The current city was consolidated, effective January 1, 2006, from the two Arkansas cities of Helena and West Helena. Helena is sited on lowlands between the Mississippi River and the eastern side of Crowley's Ridge. West Helena is located on the western side of Crowley's Ridge, a geographic anomaly in the typically flat Arkansas Delta. The Helena Bridge, one of Arkansas' four Mississippi River bridges, carries U.S. Route 49 across to Mississippi. The combined population of the two cities was 15,012 at the 2000 census and at the 2010 census, the official population was 12,282.
The municipality traces its historical roots to the founding of the port town of Helena on the Mississippi River by European Americans in 1833. As the county seat, Helena was the center of a prosperous cotton plantation region in the antebellum years. Helena was occupied by the Union Army early in the American Civil War. The city was the site of the Battle of Helena fought in 1863. Confederate forces unsuccessfully tried to expel Union forces from Helena in order to help relieve pressure on the strategic river town of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Later in the year, Helena served as the launching point for the Union Army in the capture of Little Rock, the state capital.
A thriving blues community developed here in the 1940s and 1950s as rural musicians relocated for city jobs. Mechanization had reduced the need for farm workers. The city continued to grow until the closing of the Mohawk Rubber Company, a subsidiary of Yokohama Rubber Company, in the 1970s. Unemployment surged shortly after.
Select the Right Radiology Technician College near West Helena AR
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in West Helena AR.
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