How to Select the Right Radiology Tech Degree Program near Van Buren Arkansas
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Van Buren AR in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Work Summary in Van Buren AR
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Van Buren AR clinics, hospitals, private 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 take care of their equipment plus routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth 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 Van Buren AR
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Van Buren AR or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Arkansas or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several accept additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many Van Buren area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Van Buren AR to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
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 colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically provided in Van Buren AR hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Van Buren residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Van Buren AR. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide 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 must ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still important to make sure 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance 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 premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Van Buren AR employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the xray technician programs you are evaluating have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Van Buren AR healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Van Buren AR in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arkansas healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Van Buren AR home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Van Buren AR colleges 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Van Buren AR area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Van Buren AR?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Van Buren AR, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Van Buren, Arkansas
Van Buren /væn ˈbjʊərən/ is the second largest city in the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area and the county seat of Crawford County, Arkansas, United States. The city is located directly northeast of Fort Smith at the Interstate 40 - Interstate 540 junction. The city was incorporated in 1845 and as of the 2010 census had a population of 22,791, ranking it as the state's 22nd largest city, behind Searcy.
The area was settled by David Boyd and Thomas Martin in 1818. After Arkansas became a territory in 1819 Daniel and Thomas Phillips constructed a lumber yard in the community to serve as a fuel depot for traffic along the Arkansas River. In 1831 a post office was constructed for the community, at the time known as Phillips Landing. This post office was named after the newly appointed Secretary of State, Martin Van Buren.
John Drennen, along with his partner David Thompson, purchased the area for US$11,000. They moved their business of supplying firewood for steamboats to this new location on higher ground. The courthouse was constructed on a lot of land donated by Drennen on the condition that Van Buren become the county seat. The Drennen Reserve is one of the town's existing historical sites from the 1830s.
On December 28, 1862, Union and Confederate forces clashed in and around Van Buren resulting in a defeat for Major-General T. C. Hindman, driving him south across the river with minimal casualties. Federal forces captured 100 prisoners, as stated in an official report by U.S. Major-General Samuel R. Curtis.
Find the Right Radiography Technician Schools Van Buren AR
Selecting the appropriate x-ray technician college is an important first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology 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 productive work environment and provide the best available care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiography Technician Schools. However, as has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Van Buren AR.
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