How to Select the Best Sonogram Tech College near Helena Arkansas
Now that you have decided to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Helena AR, the next step is to begin the procedure of selecting a school. To begin with, you must find the right program that will furnish the appropriate instruction to become a qualified professional. And because a number of states do require that ultrasound techs be either licensed or certified, depending on where you will practice you may also need to be prepared to pass a certification or licensing examination. So it’s extremely important that you research each program so that you can evaluate and compare your options. But just where does one start? Most potential students will begin by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their homes and then by comparing tuition. Certainly location and cost should be taken into account when arriving at a decision, but there are additional significant factors as well. For example, if the ultrasound technician schools have earned accreditation or if they sponsor internship programs. These and additional qualifications will be addressed more in depth later in this article. But first, let’s go over what a sonogram tech does and the credentials and online training options that are offered.
Sonogram Tech Work Description
There are multiple acceptable titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also referred to as sonogram techs, diagnostic medical sonographers (or just sonographers) and ultrasound technologists. Regardless of name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to carry out diagnostic ultrasound testing on patients. While many practice as generalists there are specializations within the profession, for instance in pediatrics and cardiology. Most practice in Helena AR clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Routine daily job functions of an ultrasound technician can include:
- Maintaining records of patient medical histories and specifics of each procedure
- Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
- Prepping the ultrasound machines for use and then sterilizing and recalibrating them
- Transferring patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
- Utilizing equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
- Assessing results and identifying necessity for further testing
Sonographers must frequently gauge the performance and safety of their machines. They also are held to a high ethical standard and code of conduct as medical practitioners. In order to sustain that level of professionalism and remain current with medical knowledge, they are required to enroll in continuing education courses on an ongoing basis.
Sonogram Tech Degrees Available
Sonogram tech students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will typically involve around 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and class load. A Bachelor’s Degree will require more time at up to four years to finish. Another alternative for those who have previously 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 health sector, you can enroll in a certificate program that will require just 12 to 18 months to complete. One thing to consider is that the majority of sonographer programs do have a clinical training element as a portion of their curriculum. It often may be satisfied by participating in an internship program which numerous schools sponsor with Helena AR hospitals and clinics. When you have graduated from one of the certificate or degree programs, you will then need to satisfy the certification or licensing requirements in Arkansas or whatever state you decide to practice in.
Online Ultrasound Tech Colleges
As previously mentioned, 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 held in an on campus lab or at an authorized off-campus facility. Clinical training can typically be fulfilled by means of an internship at a local Helena AR hospital, outpatient clinic or family practice. However the balance of the training and classes may be attended online in your Helena home. This is especially convenient for those students that continue working while obtaining their degrees. Plus online colleges are many times less expensive than traditional options. Expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But similarly as with every ultrasound tech college you are looking at, verify that the online program you enroll in is accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is particularly important for licensing, certification and job placement (more on accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to attend classes away from the classroom in the comfort of your own home, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Sonogram Tech Schools
Once you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of evaluating and comparing sonogram tech schools. You may first want to choose whether you would rather attend classes online or commute to a college campus in the Helena AR area. Naturally location will be critical if you decide on the latter, and the price of tuition no doubt will be an important qualifier as well. But there are other variables that you should also take into account, for example if the programs are accredited and if they provide internship programs. So in order to complete your due diligence so that you can make your final selection, following are some questions that you may want to ask each ultrasound tech program before deciding.
Are the Ultrasound Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of sonogram technician colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to verify that the program and school 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). Programs earning accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone an extensive review of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Helena AR employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the sonogram tech programs you are assessing have associations with Helena AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Helena health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new field can be challenging 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 indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arkansas healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Helena AR residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the sonogram tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the sonographer school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Helena AR area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Sonography Online Degree Programs Helena Arkansas
Picking the ideal ultrasound tech degree or certificate program is a vital first step to entering a gratifying new career providing diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech programs require that you have a high school diploma or equivalent. Along with satisfying academic standards, you must be in at least fairly good physical health, able to stand for lengthy periods and able to regularly lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it typically necessary to adjust patients and maneuver heavy machinery. Other beneficial skills include technical proficiency, the ability to keep calm when faced with an angry or anxious patient and the ability to converse in a clear and compassionate manner. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Sonography Online Degree Programs and wanting more information on Ultrasound Technician College Degree. However, as we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are considering. This holds true whether you choose an online degree or drive to the school campus to attend classes. And by asking the right questions so that you can compare each college, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives until you are left with the ideal school for your education. And with the right training, dedication and motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as an ultrasound tech in Helena AR.
More Ultrasound Locations in Arkansas
Helena–West Helena, Arkansas
Helena–West Helena is the county seat of and the largest city within Phillips County, Arkansas, United States. The current city was consolidated, effective January 1, 2006, from the two Arkansas cities of Helena and West Helena. Helena is sited on lowlands between the Mississippi River and the eastern side of Crowley's Ridge. West Helena is located on the western side of Crowley's Ridge, a geographic anomaly in the typically flat Arkansas Delta. The Helena Bridge, one of Arkansas' four Mississippi River bridges, carries U.S. Route 49 across to Mississippi. The combined population of the two cities was 15,012 at the 2000 census and at the 2010 census, the official population was 12,282.
The municipality traces its historical roots to the founding of the port town of Helena on the Mississippi River by European Americans in 1833. As the county seat, Helena was the center of a prosperous cotton plantation region in the antebellum years. Helena was occupied by the Union Army early in the American Civil War. The city was the site of the Battle of Helena fought in 1863. Confederate forces unsuccessfully tried to expel Union forces from Helena in order to help relieve pressure on the strategic river town of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Later in the year, Helena served as the launching point for the Union Army in the capture of Little Rock, the state capital.
A thriving blues community developed here in the 1940s and 1950s as rural musicians relocated for city jobs. Mechanization had reduced the need for farm workers. The city continued to grow until the closing of the Mohawk Rubber Company, a subsidiary of Yokohama Rubber Company, in the 1970s. Unemployment surged shortly after.