How to Select an X-Ray Technician Program near Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Congrats on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Hot Springs National Park AR in order to train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you research each of the schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifications also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Occupation Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical major 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 administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Hot Springs National Park AR medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that Hot Springs National Park AR radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Arkansas or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several approve other options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many Hot Springs National Park AR employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase 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 examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often performed in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Hot Springs National Park AR residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently cheaper than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may 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 right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and assessing Hot Springs National Park AR x-ray technician schools. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still important 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance 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 premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Hot Springs National Park AR health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the Arkansas xray tech colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Hot Springs National Park AR health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Hot Springs National Park AR healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Hot Springs National Park AR home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Hot Springs National Park AR colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Hot Springs National Park AR, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Radiology Technician?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask radiographer applicants is "What compelled you to select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a radiology technician, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal Radiology Technician School near Hot Springs National Park AR
Picking the right radiology technician college is a critical first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Hot Springs National Park AR.
Some Background on Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park is a United States national park in central Garland County, Arkansas, adjacent to the city of Hot Springs, the county seat. Hot Springs Reservation was initially created by an act of the United States Congress on April 20, 1832 to be preserved for future recreation. Established before the concept of a national park existed, it was the first time that a piece of land had been set aside by the federal government to preserve its use as an area for recreation. The hot spring water has been popularly believed for centuries to possess medicinal properties, and was a subject of legend among several Native American tribes. Following federal protection in 1832, the city developed into a successful spa town. Incorporated January 10, 1851, the city has been home to Major League Baseball spring training, illegal gambling, speakeasies and gangsters such as Al Capone, horse racing at Oaklawn Park, the Army and Navy Hospital, and 42nd President Bill Clinton. The area was made a national park on March 4, 1921. Until the re-designation of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial as Gateway Arch National Park in 2018, it was the smallest national park by area in the United States. Since Hot Springs National Park is the oldest park maintained by the National Park Service, it was the first to receive its own US quarter in April 2010 as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters coin series.
The hot springs flow from the western slope of Hot Springs Mountain, part of the Ouachita Mountain range. In the park, the hot springs have not been preserved in their unaltered state as natural surface phenomena. They have instead been managed to conserve the production of uncontaminated hot water for public use. The mountains within the park are also managed within this conservation philosophy in order to preserve the hydrological system that feeds the springs.
Following 8,000 years of use by indigenous peoples, European Americans discovered and appropriated the springs. They have used the hot spring water in therapeutic baths for more than 200 years to treat rheumatism and other ailments. While this was a reservation, the area developed into a well-known resort nicknamed The American Spa; it attracted not only the wealthy but indigent health seekers from around the world.
The park includes portions of downtown Hot Springs, making it one of the most accessible national parks. There are numerous hiking trails and camping areas. Bathing in spring water is available in approved facilities at extra cost. The entire Bathhouse Row area is designated as a National Historic Landmark District that contains the grandest collection of bathhouses of its kind in North America, including many outstanding examples of Gilded Age architecture. The row's Fordyce Bathhouse serves as the park's visitor center; the Buckstaff and Quapaw are the only facilities in 2015 still operating as bathhouses. Other buildings of the row are being restored or are used for other purposes.
For many years, this area was visited by chiefs and tribes of numerous indigenous peoples. They called it the "Valley of the Vapors" at the time of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto's arrival in the area in 1541. He was the first known European to see the springs. Members of many Native American tribes had been gathering in the valley for over 8,000 years to enjoy the healing properties of the thermal springs. Around the 18th century the Caddo settled in the area, followed by the Choctaw, Cherokee, and other tribes from the Southeast across the Mississippi River. There was agreement among the tribes that they would put aside their weapons and partake of the healing waters in peace while in the valley. The Quapaw lived in the Arkansas River delta area and visited the springs.
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