How to Pick the Right Radiologic Tech School near Springdale Arkansas
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Springdale AR in order to become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other significant qualifications as well. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Occupation Description in Springdale AR
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Springdale AR hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 maintain their equipment and frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available near Springdale AR
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 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 expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Springdale AR or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Arkansas or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several accept additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, numerous Springdale area employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Springdale AR to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology 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 although you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Springdale AR hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Springdale residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are generally less expensive than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just confirm that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician schools near Springdale AR. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Springdale AR employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are interested in have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Springdale AR health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Springdale AR in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Arkansas healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Springdale AR home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Springdale AR schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Springdale AR area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, 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 obligations.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Springdale AR?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Springdale AR, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Springdale is the fourth-largest city in Arkansas, United States. It is located in both Washington and Benton counties in Northwest Arkansas. Located on the Springfield Plateau deep in the Ozark Mountains, Springdale has long been an important industrial city for the region. In addition to several trucking companies, the city is home to the world headquarters of Tyson Foods, the world's largest meat producing company. Originally named Shiloh, the city changed its name to Springdale when applying for a post office in 1872. The four-county Northwest Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area is ranked 109th in terms of population in the United States with 463,204 in 2010 according to the United States Census Bureau. The city had a population of 69,797 at the 2010 Census.
Springdale has been experiencing a population boom in recent years, as indicated by a 133% growth in population between the 1990 and 2010 censuses. During this period of rapid growth, the city has seen a new Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, the establishment of a Springdale campus of Northwest Arkansas Community College and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals minor league baseball team move into Arvest Ballpark. Tyson remains the city's top employer, and is visible throughout the city. Many public features bear the Tyson name, including the Randal Tyson Recreational Complex, Don Tyson Parkway, Helen Tyson Middle School, John Tyson Elementary and Don Tyson School of Innovation. Governor Mike Beebe signed an act into law recognizing Springdale as "The Poultry Capital Of The World" in 2013.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 108.9 square miles (282 km2), of which, 108.3 square miles (280 km2) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) of it, or 0.62%, is water. The city limits extend north into southern Benton County. Springdale is bordered by the cities of Cave Springs, Lowell, and Bethel Heights to the north, by Elm Springs and Tontitown to the west, and by Johnson and Fayetteville to the south.
The city is located in both Benton and Washington counties along Interstate 49/US Highway 62/US Highway 71 (I-49/US 62/US 71). This is the only fully controlled access route through the area, which replaced the winding US 71 (now US 71B) in the 1990s. An interstate connection with Fort Smith to the south and Kansas City, Missouri to the north has greatly helped to grow Springdale. Within Washington County, Springdale is bordered along the south by Fayetteville and Johnson. In some locations, this transition is seamless. The city extends west and east along Highway 412 toward Tontitown and Beaver Lake, respectively.
Find the Right X Ray Tech Degree Programs Springdale AR
Picking the ideal x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in X Ray Tech Degree Programs. However, as has been addressed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Springdale AR.
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