How to Choose the Right Radiology Technician School near Mena Arkansas
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Mena AR so you can become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the right school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers also. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Description in Mena AR
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Mena AR hospitals, clinics, 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 have to take care of their equipment and also routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered near Mena AR
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. 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 requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Mena AR or their region. 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 practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several provide additional options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, many Mena area employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Mena AR to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a part 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 colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Mena AR family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Mena residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often cheaper than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just be sure that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the benefits 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 right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
After you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Mena AR. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still important to confirm that the program and school 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Mena AR health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the xray technician colleges you are interested in have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Mena AR healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Mena AR in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arkansas healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Mena AR home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Mena AR colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Mena 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 credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask 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 Mena AR?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Mena AR, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Mena was founded by Arthur Edward Stilwell during the building of the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad (now the Kansas City Southern), which stretched from Kansas City, Missouri to Port Arthur, Texas. Train service to Mena began in 1896.
Stilwell named the town in honor of Folmina Margaretha Janssen-De Goeijen, the wife of his friend and financier Jan De Goeijen, whom Mr. De Goeijen affectionately called Mena. Janssen Park in the center of Mena is also named for her.
Mena was settled in 1896 and incorporated on September 18 of that year. In 1897, the Bank of Mena was founded. The following year, the county seat was moved from nearby Dallas to Mena. Mena's population had grown to 3,423 by 1900. The main industries of the area were timber, agriculture and mineral extraction, though it was advertised as a spa city located within a healthy environment. Stilwell donated land to the city in 1906, and a park and campground were constructed. In 1910, the railroad moved its shop facilities from Mena to Heavener, Oklahoma. This created a loss of eight hundred jobs. A private school in Mena, Hendrix Academy, closed in 1905.
In 1901, a black man, Peter Berryman, was lynched after an alleged altercation with a white girl. No one was arrested for the crime. Several other instances of racially motivated hate and violence towards Mena's black community had been noted. This, combined with declining job prospects after the railway shops left town, led many blacks to leave Mena. By 1910, just 16 remained.
Find the Right X Ray Technician Associate’s Degree Mena AR
Selecting the right x-ray tech school is an important first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in X Ray Technician Associate’s Degree. However, as has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to 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 appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiographer in Mena AR.
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