How to Find an Xray Tech Program near West Helena Arkansas
Congratulations on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near West Helena AR so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s imperative that you research each of the colleges you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications also. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in West Helena AR clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may work with 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 plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As West Helena AR medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that West Helena AR radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Arkansas or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many approve additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many West Helena AR employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically performed in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your West Helena AR residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just confirm that the online program you enroll in 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 degree may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and assessing West Helena AR x-ray technician schools. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing 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 selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still imperative to verify 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous review of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. 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 securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of West Helena AR health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the Arkansas radiology technician schools you are assessing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the West Helena AR medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with West Helena AR healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their West Helena AR home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. 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 usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the West Helena AR schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the x-ray tech college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in West Helena AR, make certain that they are offered. 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, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Radiology Technician?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask radiographer prospects is "What made you choose radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming an Xray technician, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Radiology Technician College near West Helena AR
Selecting the ideal x-ray technician school is an important first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are assessing before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiographer in West Helena AR.
Some Background on West Helena Arkansas
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.
Among the attractions in Helena–West Helena are the Delta Cultural Center, the Pillow-Thompson House (owned and operated by the Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas), and the Helena Confederate Cemetery, which holds the remains of seven Confederate Army generals. The city holds an annual King Biscuit Blues Festival each October. It has been held under this name since 2010, when it was renamed at a 25th-anniversary performance by musician B.B. King.
The city of Helena was founded by European Americans in 1833, as a port along the Mississippi River. Crowleys Ridge provided elevation and some protection against flooding, a rare feature along the right/west bank of the lower Mississippi River.
More Cities of Interest in Arkansas