How to Enroll in the Best Ultrasound Technician Degree Program Near Globe Arizona
Now that you have decided to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Globe AZ, the next step is to begin the process of picking a school. To begin with, you have to find the ideal program that will provide the proper training to become a qualified professional. And since some states do require that ultrasound techs be either certified or licensed, depending on your residence you may also need to be prepared to pass a licensing or certification exam. So it's very important that you research each college so that you can evaluate and compare your alternatives. But just where does one begin? A number of potential students will start by looking for schools that are within travelling distance of their homes and then by comparing tuition. Of course location and cost must be taken into account when arriving at a decision, but there are additional critical factors as well. For example, if the ultrasound technician schools are accredited or if they offer internships. These and other qualifiers will be discussed more in detail later in this article. But to start with, let's review what a sonogram tech does and the credentials and online training options that are available.
Ultrasound Technician Job Summary
There are several acceptable titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also referred to as sonogram techs, diagnostic medical sonographers (or just sonographers) and ultrasound technologists. No matter what their title is, they all have the same primary job description, which is to implement diagnostic ultrasound procedures on patients. While many practice as generalists there are specialties within the profession, for instance in cardiology and pediatrics. The majority work in Globe AZ hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Standard daily work duties of an ultrasound technician can involve:
- Maintaining records of patient medical histories and details of each procedure
- Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
- Prepping the ultrasound machines for usage and then sterilizing and re-calibrating them
- Escorting patients to treatment rooms and ensuring their comfort
- Operating equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
- Assessing results and determining need for supplemental testing
Ultrasound techs must frequently gauge the performance and safety of their equipment. They also are held to a high ethical standard and code of conduct as health practitioners. In order to sustain that degree of professionalism and stay current with medical knowledge, they are mandated to complete continuing education courses on an ongoing basis.
Sonogram Tech Degrees Offered
Sonogram technician enrollees have the option to acquire either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree will typically require around 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and class load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as long as four years to finish. Another alternative for individuals who have previously received a college degree is a post graduate certificate program. If you have received a Bachelor's Degree in any major or an Associate Degree in a related health sector, you can instead choose a certificate program that will take only 12 to 18 months to complete. Something to consider is that almost all ultrasound technician programs do have a clinical training element as part of their curriculum. It often may be fulfilled by entering into an internship program which numerous colleges sponsor with Globe AZ clinics and hospitals. Once you have graduated from any of the certificate or degree programs, you will then need to fulfill the certification or licensing prerequisites in Arizona or whatever state you elect to work in.
Ultrasound Technology Specialties
Ultrasound technology, or diagnostic sonography, has become more popular for diagnosing internal medical conditions because, unlike other medical imaging tools such as X-rays or CT Scans, ultrasound doesn’t expose the body to radiation. This safer approach has made ultrasound imaging the preferred method for testing pregnant women and infants, who have a higher risk for complications due to radiation. However, babies and expectant mothers are not the only ones who can benefit from ultrasound imaging and it is used in many ways to diagnose illness in the body. Following is a partial list of ultrasound technician education specialties available in the Globe AZ area:
- Musculoskeletal sonographers can create real-time images of joint injuries, assisting orthopedic surgeons and sports physicians in their diagnosis and treatment.
- Abdominal sonographers specialize in generating images of abdominal internal organs and tissues, such as the pancreas, spleen, liver and gallbladder.
- Breast sonographers conduct ultrasound scans using a sound frequency specifically targeted for breast tissue to evaluate tumors and other abnormalities as a method of verifying or contradicting the results of a mammogram.
- Obstetrics/Gynecology sonographers work with women to scan their reproductive organs and assess the development and health of fetuses throughout the pregnancy.
- Echocardiography sonographers are trained in the imaging and evaluation of the heart, its valves and vessels, and the blood flow to and from the heart.
- Vascular technologists are trained to use ultrasound technology to identify damaged areas or blockages in blood vessels, and to gauge the flow of blood through veins and arteries.
- Ophthalmology sonographers conduct diagnostic tests on the eyes and surrounding muscles and tissue.
- Neurosonology sonographers are specially trained to use ultrasound imaging to detect blockages, tumors or abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord.
Online Ultrasound Tech Degrees
As previously mentioned, virtually all ultrasound technician schools have a practical requirement to their programs. So while you can obtain a certificate or degree online, a significant part of the training will be either carried out in an on campus laboratory or at a sponsored off campus facility. Practical training can typically be satisfied by means of an internship at a local Globe AZhospital, outpatient clinic or private practice. But the balance of the training and classes can be accessed online in your Globe home. This is especially beneficial for those individuals that continue working while earning their degrees. In addition online schools are frequently less costly than on-campus alternatives. Costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just as with every sonographer college you are looking at, make sure that the online program you ultimately pick is accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is particularly significant for certification, licensing and job placement (more on accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn outside of the classroom in the comfort of your own home, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Sonogram Tech Colleges
As soon as you have decided on which certificate or degree that you would like to earn, you can start the procedure of evaluating and comparing sonogram technician colleges. You will first probably want to choose whether you would rather access classes online or travel to a college campus in the Globe AZ area. Certainly location will be critical if you decide on the latter, and the price of tuition no doubt will be an initial qualification as well. But there are other variables that you must also take into account, such as if the programs are accredited and if they offer internships. Therefore in order to carry out your due diligence so that you can arrive at your final selection, following are several questions that you may want to ask each sonography program prior to making a decision.
Are the Ultrasound Technician Colleges Accredited? Most ultrasound tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of sonography is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Globe AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the sonogram tech colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Globe AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Globe medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the sonographer programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Globe AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering 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 an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the ultrasound technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the sonographer school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Globe AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Globe Ultrasound Technician Program
Picking the right sonographer certificate or degree program is an important first step to embarking on a gratifying new career providing diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech schools require that you have a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition to satisfying academic requirements, you should be in at least reasonably good physical health, capable of standing for lengthy periods and able to routinely lift weights of fifty pounds or more, as is it often necessary to adjust patients and maneuver heavy equipment. Additional preferred skills include technical proficiency, the ability to stay collected when confronted by an anxious or angry patient and the ability to converse in a clear and compassionate manner. As we have discussed in this post, there are multiple questions that you need to ask each program you are considering. This holds true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to the school campus to attend classes. And by asking the proper questions so that you can evaluate each school, you will be able to narrow down your options until you are left with the best school for your education. And with the right training, discipline and motivation to succeed, you can reach your objective to work as an ultrasound tech in Globe Arizona.