How to Choose the Best Ultrasound Tech Training Program near Lowndesboro Alabama
Once you have made a decision to obtain an ultrasound technician degree near Lowndesboro AL, the next step is to start the procedure of choosing a school. First, you must find the right program that will furnish the appropriate education to become a qualified professional. And because some states do mandate that sonographers be either licensed or certified, depending on where you will practice you may also need to be prepared to pass a certification or licensing exam. So it’s very important that you investigate each college in order to assess and compare your choices. But exactly where does one begin? Many students will begin by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Of course location and cost need to be taken into account when arriving at a decision, but there are other significant factors as well. For instance, if the ultrasound technician schools are accredited or if they provide internship programs. These and other qualifiers will be covered more in depth later in this post. But first, let’s review what an ultrasound tech does and the degrees and online education programs that are offered.
Ultrasound Tech Occupation Summary
There are various professional titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also called sonogram techs, diagnostic medical sonographers (or just sonographers) and ultrasound technologists. Regardless of name, they all have the same primary job function, which is to carry out diagnostic ultrasound techniques on patients. Even though a number of techs practice as generalists there are specializations within the profession, for instance in cardiology and pediatrics. Most practice in Lowndesboro AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Common daily work tasks of a sonogram technician can consist of:
- Maintaining records of patient case histories and specifics of each procedure
- Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
- Prepping the ultrasound machines for testing and then sterilizing and re-calibrating them
- Moving patients to treatment rooms and ensuring their comfort
- Utilizing equipment while minimizing patient exposure to sound waves
- Assessing results and determining need for further testing
Sonographers must frequently assess the performance and safety of their equipment. They also must adhere to a high professional standard and code of conduct as health practitioners. In order to sustain that degree of professionalism and stay current with medical knowledge, they are required to complete continuing education programs on an ongoing basis.
Sonogram Tech Degrees Offered
Sonogram technician enrollees have the choice to acquire either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will generally require around 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and class load. A Bachelor’s Degree will require more time at as long as four years to finalize. Another option for those who have already obtained a college degree is a post graduate certificate program. If you have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in any major or an Associate Degree in a related medical field, you can enroll in a certificate program that will require just 12 to 18 months to finish. Something to keep in mind is that almost all ultrasound technician schools do have a practical training element as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by entering into an internship program which many colleges set up through Lowndesboro AL clinics and hospitals. When you have graduated from any of the degree or certificate programs, you will then have to satisfy the certification or licensing prerequisites in Alabama or whatever state you elect to practice in.
Online Sonogram Tech Schools
As aforementioned, virtually all ultrasound tech schools have a practical component to their programs. So while you can obtain a certificate or degree online, a substantial part of the training will be either held in an on-campus lab or at an authorized off-campus medical care provider. Clinical training can usually be satisfied through an internship at a local Lowndesboro AL outpatient clinic, hospital or family practice. But the rest of the classes and training can be accessed online in your Lowndesboro home. This is particularly beneficial for those individuals that continue working while earning their degrees. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just as with any sonography school you are looking at, check that the online school you choose is accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is especially important for certification, licensing and finding employment (more on accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to attend classes outside of the classroom in the comfort of your own home, then an online degree could be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Sonography Colleges
When 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 sonogram technician schools. You may first want to choose whether you will access classes online or commute to a college campus in the Lowndesboro AL area. Clearly location will be important if you decide on the latter, and the price of tuition no doubt will be an initial qualifier also. But there are additional factors that you must also take into consideration, such as if the schools are accredited and if they sponsor internship programs. So in order to carry out your due diligence so that you can arrive at your ultimate selection, following are several questions that you need ask each ultrasound tech program prior to making a decision.
Are the Sonogram Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of ultrasound technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of sonography is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). Programs earning accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Lowndesboro AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the sonogram technician programs you are assessing have relationships with Lowndesboro AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Lowndesboro health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the sonographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama 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 choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Lowndesboro AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need 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 Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering 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 talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the ultrasound technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the ultrasound tech school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lowndesboro AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Prenatal Sonography Technician Programs Lowndesboro Alabama
Choosing the ideal ultrasound tech degree or certificate program is a vital first step to starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech colleges require that you have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition to meeting academic requirements, you should be in at least reasonably good physical condition, able to stand for prolonged durations with the ability to regularly lift weights of fifty pounds or more, as is it typically necessary to position patients and move heavy machinery. Other preferred skills include technical proficiency, the ability to remain calm when confronted by an angry or anxious patient and the ability to converse clearly and compassionately. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Prenatal Sonography Technician Programs and wanting more information on Ultrasound Technician Course. However, as we have addressed in this post, there are multiple questions that you need to ask each program you are considering. This is the case whether you enroll in an online program or commute to the college campus to attend classes. And by asking the appropriate questions so that you can compare each school, you can narrow down your choices until you are left with the best program for your education. And with the right training, dedication and motivation to succeed, you can realize your objective to practice as an ultrasound tech in Lowndesboro AL.
More Ultrasound Locations in Alabama
Lowndesboro is a town in Lowndes County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 115, down from 140 in 2000. It is part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area. Although initially incorporated in 1856 by an act of the state legislature, it lapsed and was not reincorporated until 1962.
As of the 2000 and 2010 U.S. Censuses, Lowndesboro, along with Benton, are the only two towns (out of 7) in Lowndes County with a white majority of residents. Both are the 6th (Lowndesboro) and 7th (Benton) smallest communities.
Originally known as McGill's Hill, the community began attracting settlers following the conclusion of the Creek War. In 1832, the residents changed the name to Lowndesboro in honor of U.S. Congressman William Lowndes, the son of Rawlins Lowndes, an early South Carolina governor.