How to Select the Right Radiology Tech College near Helena Arkansas
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Helena AR in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers also. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Work Description in Helena 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 same major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Helena AR clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize 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 plus frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered near Helena AR
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish 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 expansive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Helena AR or their area. After 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 Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many Helena area employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Helena AR to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a component 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 programs. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually performed in Helena AR hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Helena home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
After you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Helena AR. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Helena AR health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the xray technician schools you are evaluating have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Helena AR medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Helena AR in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arkansas healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Helena AR residence. Students 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. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Helena AR colleges you are looking at what the typical 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 a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Helena AR area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Helena AR?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Helena AR, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
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.
Find the Right Radiology Technician Online Programs Helena AR
Selecting the best radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiology Technician Online Programs. However, as has been addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are considering before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Helena AR.
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