How to Pick the Best Ultrasound Tech Training Program near Jackson Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Jackson AL, it’s time to begin the procedure of choosing a college. First, you must find the right program that will provide the proper education to become a skilled professional. And because some states do mandate that sonographers be either certified or licensed, depending on your residence you may also need preparation to pass a licensing or certification exam. So it’s very important that you investigate each school in order to evaluate and compare your alternatives. But exactly where does one start? Most prospective students will begin by searching for colleges that are within travelling distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Naturally location and cost need to be considered when arriving at a decision, but there are other significant factors as well. For example, if the ultrasound technician schools have earned accreditation or if they sponsor internships. These and other qualifiers will be addressed more in detail later in this article. But first, let’s review what a sonogram tech does and the credentials and online education options that are offered.
Ultrasound Technician Occupation Summary
There are multiple acceptable titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also referred to as ultrasound technologists, sonogram techs, and diagnostic medical sonographers (or just sonographers). Regardless of name, they all have the same basic job function, which is to implement diagnostic ultrasound procedures on patients. Even though a number of techs practice as generalists there are specializations within the field, for instance in pediatrics and cardiology. The majority practice in Jackson AL hospitals, clinics, outpatient diagnostic imaging centers and even private practices. Typical daily work functions of a sonogram technician can involve:
- Preserving records of patient medical histories and details of each procedure
- Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
- Prepping the ultrasound machines for testing and then cleaning and re-calibrating them
- Transferring patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
- Using equipment while minimizing patient exposure to sound waves
- Reviewing the results and identifying necessity for supplemental testing
Sonographers must routinely assess the safety and performance of their equipment. They also are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct as health practitioners. So as to maintain that degree of professionalism and stay current with medical knowledge, they are required to complete continuing education courses on a regular basis.
Ultrasound Tech Degree Programs Offered
Ultrasound technician enrollees have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will normally involve about 18 months to 2 years to accomplish depending on the program and class load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete. Another option for individuals who have already earned 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 medical sector, you can instead choose a certificate program that will take just 12 to 18 months to finish. Something to keep in mind is that most sonographer schools do have a practical training element as part of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship program which numerous schools organize through Jackson AL clinics and hospitals. Once you have graduated from one of the degree or certificate programs, you will then need to comply with the licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or whichever state you elect to practice in.
Ultrasound Tech Online Schools
As aforementioned, virtually all ultrasound tech schools have a clinical component to their programs. So while you can earn a certificate or degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be either conducted in an on campus lab or at an approved off-campus medical care provider. Practical training can usually be fulfilled by means of an internship at a local Jackson AL hospital, outpatient clinic or family practice. But the rest of the classes and training may be attended online in your Jackson home. This is particularly convenient for those students that continue working while earning their degrees. In addition online programs are often less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But similarly as with every sonography program you are considering, confirm that the online school you select is accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is especially crucial for certification, licensing and finding employment (more on accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to attend classes outside of the classroom in the comfort of your own home, then an online degree could be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Ultrasound Technician Programs
As soon as you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the procedure of assessing and comparing ultrasound tech colleges. You may first want to choose whether you will attend classes online or travel to a school campus in the Jackson AL area. Obviously location will be significant if you select the latter, and the price of tuition undoubtedly will be an important qualifier as well. But there are additional factors that you should also take into consideration, such as if the schools are accredited and if they sponsor internship programs. Therefore in order to carry out your due diligence so that you can make your ultimate selection, below are several questions that you need ask each sonography program prior to making a decision.
Are the Ultrasound Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of sonogram technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies 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 rigorous assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Jackson AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the ultrasound tech schools you are assessing have associations with Jackson AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Jackson health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the sonographer programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Jackson AL home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the ultrasound technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the sonographer college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Jackson AL 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Schooling Jackson Alabama
Selecting the right ultrasound tech certificate or degree program is an important first step to commencing a rewarding new career providing diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech schools require that you have a high school diploma or equivalent. Along with meeting academic requirements, you should be in at least fairly good physical condition, able to stand for extended durations and able to routinely lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it frequently necessary to adjust patients and maneuver heavy machines. Additional helpful skills include technical proficiency, the ability to remain collected when confronted by an angry or anxious patient and the ability to communicate clearly and compassionately. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Schooling and wanting more information on Sonography Programs. However, as we have addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are considering. This is the case whether you choose an online program or commute to the college campus to attend classes. And by asking the appropriate questions so that you can evaluate each program, you can narrow down your alternatives until you are left with the best school for your education. And with the proper training, discipline and determination to succeed, you can reach your objective to practice as an ultrasound tech in Jackson AL.
More Ultrasound Locations in Alabama
Al Jackson Jr.
Albert J. Jackson Jr. (November 27, 1935 – October 1, 1975) was an American drummer, producer, and songwriter. He was a founding member of Booker T. & the M.G.'s, a group of session musicians who worked for Stax Records and produced their own instrumentals. Jackson was affectionately dubbed "The Human Timekeeper" for his drumming ability. He was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2015.
Jackson's father, Al Jackson Sr., led a jazz/swing dance band in Memphis, Tennessee. The young Jackson started drumming at an early age and began playing on stage with his father's band in 1940, at the age of five. He later played in producer and trumpeter Willie Mitchell's band and at the same time was holding down a chair in the popular Ben Branch Band.
Future bandmates Steve Cropper and Donald "Duck" Dunn first heard Jackson playing in Mitchell's band at the Flamingo Room, and the all-white Manhattan Club. Mitchell had also hired Booker T. Jones for his band. It was Jones who suggested Jackson be brought to Stax. He said, "You guys need to know about Al." Dunn said that Jackson almost caused his wife to divorce him, because after finishing his own gig at one o'clock, he would stop by a club to hear Jackson and would get home at four or five in the morning; "He was that good!" said Dunn. At first, Jackson was reluctant to join Stax. He felt he could make more money playing live than doing session work. He wanted a guaranteed regular salary to come over to Stax (although he continued to play on sessions produced by Mitchell for Hi Records). And so he became the first Stax session musician to be on a weekly salary.