Top Radiologic Technology Schools in Arkansas

Seeking an education in radiologic technology in Arkansas? Understand your choices in programs, the clinical experience required, and the steps towards certification and licensure. This guide provides essential information on top radiologic technology schools in Arkansas, like the University of Central Arkansas and Arkansas State University, what differentiates them, and how they pave the way for your career as a radiologic technologist.

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Exploring Radiologic Technology Programs in Arkansas

Radiologic technology is a diverse field with a broad spectrum of study options. Arkansas, known for its natural beauty and warm Southern hospitality, offers a wide array of radiologic technology programs. From associate’s to bachelor’s, and even graduate imaging programs, the state’s institutions provide comprehensive education in radiologic technology. This education equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to produce high-quality radiographic images, conduct radiologic procedures, and contribute to the health care team.

Arkansas’s radiologic technology programs are spread across various institutions, including:

  • University of Central Arkansas
  • Arkansas State University
  • Southeast Arkansas College
  • CHI St. Vincent School of Radiologic Technology

Each institution provides unique learning experiences and opportunities for students to become registered technologists, helping them carve their path to a successful career in radiologic technology.

University of Central Arkansas

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA), nestled in the state’s heart, provides a well-rounded Bachelor of Science in Radiography program. This program aims to equip students with the requisite knowledge and skills to excel as radiologic technologists.

UCA’s Bachelor of Science in Radiation Sciences program offers a baccalaureate degree across six distinct tracks, tailored to accommodate the students’ varied interests. The six tracks are:

  1. Radiography
  2. Radiation Therapy
  3. Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  4. Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  5. Nuclear Medicine Technology
  6. Cardiovascular Interventional Technology

This paves the way for students to concentrate on their preferred area, thus laying a robust foundation for a gratifying career in radiologic technology.

Arkansas State University

Situated in Jonesboro, Arkansas State University (ASU) brings a unique model to the table with its Bachelor of Radiologic Sciences (BSRS) program, designed for students who have completed an associate of applied science degree in radiologic technology. The program follows a ‘1 plus 1’ model, fostering clinical competence in multiple fields. This approach guarantees a foundational radiography curriculum for students in the first year, with the introduction of speciality tracks in the subsequent year.

These speciality tracks at ASU include:

  • Cardiovascular-Interventional Technology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mammography/Breast Sonography
  • Medical Imaging Informatics
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography

This diversity of tracks equips students with specialized skills, making them highly sought-after professionals in the field of radiologic technology.

Southeast Arkansas College

Southeast Arkansas College, located in Pine Bluff, offers a Radiologic Technology program that starts in August every year, with the application deadline falling on the second Friday in April. The college’s comprehensive program focuses on the art and science of using radiation. This is done to produce images of tissues, bones, and blood vessels in the human body.

The program’s curriculum is accompanied by stringent admission prerequisites. Chosen applicants must inform the Allied Health Division about their registration intent, and provide necessary document proof such as a drug screen and criminal background check, for which they bear the expenses. This approach ensures admission of only the most dedicated students, thereby maintaining the high standards of radiologic technology professionals in Arkansas.

CHI St. Vincent School of Radiologic Technology

CHI St. Vincent School of Radiologic Technology, located in Little Rock, offers a comprehensive 24-month program that emphasizes producing highly skilled radiographers. The program’s educational objectives include fostering critical thinking, professional growth, and effective communication among its students.

Graduates have the opportunity to specialize in areas such as imaging equipment:

  • CT
  • MRI
  • Mammography
  • Radiation therapy
  • Interventional radiography
  • Cardiac catheterization lab

This showcases the clinically competent nature instilled by the program, positioning graduates for successful careers in the field of radiologic technology.

The Path to Becoming a Radiologic Technologist in Arkansas

Embarking on the path to becoming a Radiologic Technologist in Arkansas involves completing an accredited program, passing the ARRT certification exam, and meeting specific licensure requirements. The journey may seem arduous, but the rewards at the end are well worth the effort.

The journey involves an all-encompassing education, practical clinical experience, and thorough examinations, ensuring that Radiologic Technologists are well-prepared with the requisite knowledge and skills to deliver top-notch patient care and shine in their professional roles.

Licensure Requirements

In Arkansas, individuals must be licensed to operate radiologic equipment that utilizes ionizing radiation for diagnosing or treating medical conditions. To become a licensed Radiologic Technologist, one must graduate from an accredited program and pass the ARRT Radiography National Registry examination.

The state also provides specialized licenses such as Nuclear Medicine Technologist and Radiation Therapy Technologist, awarded following the completion of relevant accredited programs and the passing of respective national certification exams.

ARRT Certification Exam

Clearing the ARRT certification exam is a critical milestone towards becoming a licensed Radiologic Technologist in Arkansas. A successful pass in the exam exemplifies a high professional standard in radiography and leads to enhanced job prospects.

The exam is a computer-based test consisting of 200 multiple-choice questions covering a comprehensive range of topics, including:

  • patient care
  • safety
  • image production
  • procedures specific to radiologic technology.

Candidates must complete an accredited educational program and adhere to ethical standards set forth by the ARRT to be eligible for the exam. It is worth noting that ARRT certification must be renewed annually, and radiologic technologists are required to meet Continuing Qualifications Requirements every ten years to maintain their certification.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations for Radiologic Technologists in Arkansas

The field of radiologic technology in Arkansas promises a bright future with promising growth projections and competitive salary expectations. The job market for radiologic technologists and technicians is expected to expand in the coming years, with a projected job growth rate of 6.5% from 2020 to 2030.

As of 2022, the average annual salary for radiologic technologists in Arkansas is $55,180. This competitive salary, coupled with the growing job market, makes the state an attractive destination for both new and experienced radiologic technologists.

Growth Projections

The job market for radiologic technologists and technicians in Arkansas is expected to flourish in the coming decade. This growth is primarily driven by the increasing demand for healthcare services, advancements in medical technology, and the ageing population in need of diagnostic imaging.

The projected job growth rate for radiologic technologist and technician jobs in Arkansas stands at an impressive 6.5% from 2020 to 2030. This growth rate is indicative of the increasing demand for these professionals and the promising career prospects in the field.

Average Annual Salaries

Radiologic technologists in Arkansas reap significant financial rewards. As of 2022, these professionals draw an average annual salary of $55,180. This salary outpaces the national average of numerous occupations, underlining the value and critical role of radiologic technologists in the healthcare sector.

Clinical Education and Hands-on Experience

Clinical education and hands-on experience form the backbone of radiologic technology programs. These elements expose students to real-world scenarios, facilitating the application of theoretical knowledge in practical settings. This hands-on experience is often the first step towards a successful career in radiologic technology.

During clinical rotations, students undertake various tasks such as:

  • Direct patient care
  • Assisting seasoned radiographers
  • Managing radiographic equipment
  • Conducting administrative duties

This blend of technical skills and patient interaction prepares students to become competent professionals and excel in their respective roles.

Continuing Education

Continuing education is a critical aspect of a career in radiologic technology. In Arkansas, radiologic technologists are required to complete continuing education credits for license renewal and must renew their ARRT certification every two years.

Continuing education for radiologic technologists in Arkansas is diverse and includes:

  • Online courses
  • PowerPoint video lectures
  • Seminars
  • Home study programs
  • Sessions on positioning and multimodality radiology

Many of these educational opportunities are eligible for ARRT Category A credits. They help professionals stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field, ensuring they continue providing the highest quality patient care.

Summary

In conclusion, Arkansas offers a vibrant landscape for aspiring and practising radiologic technologists. With a wide array of educational programs, robust job outlook, competitive salaries, and enriching clinical experiences, the state is a promising destination for professionals in this field. Coupled with the support of professional organizations like the ARSRT and ongoing continuing education opportunities, a career in radiologic technology in Arkansas is a bright path leading to a radiant future.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a rad tech make per hour in Arkansas?

The average hourly salary for a Radiologic Technologist in Arkansas is $24.49, with entry-level positions starting at $20,000 per year and experienced workers making up to $94,560 per year. This is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Does Arkansas have a radiology program?

Yes, Arkansas State University has a Radiography Program that aims to produce competent, entry-level technologists for the practice of radiologic technology.

How long does it take to become a radiology tech in Arkansas?

It takes two years to become a radiology tech in Arkansas through a program that requires a total of 79 credit hours, starting each July.

What is the average annual salary for radiologic technologists in Arkansas?

The average annual salary for radiologic technologists in Arkansas is $55,180 as of 2022.

What is the ‘1 plus 1’ model in the BSRS program at Arkansas State University?

The ‘1 plus 1’ model in the BSRS program at Arkansas State University offers a foundational radiography curriculum in the first year, followed by speciality tracks in the second year.