How to Pick the Right Ultrasound Tech College near West Memphis Arkansas
Once you have made a decision to obtain an ultrasound technician degree near West Memphis AR, the next step is to start the process of selecting a school. First, you have to find the right program that will furnish the proper training to become a qualified professional. And because a number of states do require that ultrasound techs be either certified or licensed, depending on where you will practice you may also need preparation to pass a licensing or certification exam. So it’s extremely important that you research each program so that you can evaluate and compare your alternatives. But just where does one start? Many prospective students will start by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their homes and then by comparing tuition. Of course location and cost need to be considered when arriving at a decision, but there are other critical factors also. For instance, if the ultrasound technician schools are accredited or if they sponsor internships. These and additional qualifications will be covered more in detail later in this article. But to start with, let’s go over what an ultrasound tech does and the credentials and online training options that are offered.
Ultrasound Tech Occupation Description
There are more than one professional 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 implement diagnostic ultrasound techniques on patients. Even though many practice as generalists there are specialties within the profession, for example in cardiology and pediatrics. The majority practice in West Memphis AR clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Routine daily work duties of an ultrasound technician can include:
- Preserving records of patient case histories and specifics of each procedure
- Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
- Readying the ultrasound machines for testing and then cleaning and recalibrating them
- Transferring patients to treatment rooms and ensuring their comfort
- Utilizing equipment while minimizing patient exposure to sound waves
- Reviewing the results and identifying necessity for supplemental testing
Sonographers must routinely gauge the performance and safety of their machines. They also are held to a high ethical standard and code of conduct as health practitioners. In order to maintain that level of professionalism and remain up to date with medical knowledge, they are mandated to complete continuing education training on a regular basis.
Sonogram Technician Degree Programs Available
Ultrasound technician enrollees have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will generally require about 18 months to 2 years to accomplish depending on the program and class load. A Bachelor’s Degree will require more time at up to four years to complete. Another option for those who have previously received 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 sector, you can instead choose a certificate program that will take 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 course of study. It often may be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which numerous colleges sponsor with West Memphis AR hospitals and clinics. Once you have graduated from one of the degree or certificate programs, you will then have to fulfill the certification or licensing requirements in Arkansas or whichever state you elect to work in.
Online Sonographer Colleges
As earlier discussed, virtually all sonogram technician colleges have a clinical component to their programs. So although you can receive a certificate or degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be either conducted in an on campus laboratory or at an approved off-campus medical care provider. Clinical training can often be fulfilled through an internship at a local West Memphis AR outpatient clinic, hospital or private practice. But the remainder of the training and classes can be accessed online in your West Memphis home. This is especially convenient for those students that continue working while getting their degrees. Plus online programs are many times less expensive than traditional options. Costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But similarly as with any ultrasound tech school you are considering, check that the online program you ultimately pick 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 job placement (more on accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to attend classes outside of the classroom in the convenience of your own home, then an online degree could be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Sonography Colleges
Once you have decided on which certificate or degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the procedure of evaluating and comparing ultrasound technician colleges. You may first want to decide whether you would rather attend classes online or travel to a school campus in the West Memphis AR area. Of course location will be important if you decide on the latter, and the price of tuition no doubt will be an important qualifier as well. But there are additional factors that you must also take into account, for instance if the schools are accredited and if they provide internship programs. So in order to perform your due diligence so that you can arrive at your final selection, following are several questions that you need ask each sonographer school before deciding.
Are the Sonogram Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of ultrasound technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still important to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of sonography is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRC-DMS have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous West Memphis AR employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the sonogram tech colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with West Memphis AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the West Memphis healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the ultrasound tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Arkansas healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their West Memphis AR residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even 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 generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the ultrasound tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the sonographer school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the West Memphis AR area, make certain that they are offered. 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 have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Diagnostic Ultrasound Programs West Memphis Arkansas
Picking the ideal ultrasound tech certificate or degree program is a crucial first step to launching a rewarding new profession furnishing diagnostic services to patients. Sonographer programs require that you have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Along with meeting academic requirements, you must be in at least reasonably good physical health, able to stand for extended periods with the ability to regularly lift weights of fifty pounds or more, as is it typically necessary to position patients and maneuver heavy equipment. Other preferred talents include technical aptitude, the ability to keep collected when confronted by an angry or anxious patient and the ability to communicate in a clear and compassionate manner. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Diagnostic Ultrasound Programs and wanting more information on Medical Sonographer Programs. However, as we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at. This is the case whether you enroll in an online degree or commute to the school campus to attend classes. And by asking the proper questions so that you can evaluate each program, you will be able to narrow down your options until you are left with the ideal school for your education. And with the proper training, dedication and motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as an ultrasound technologist in West Memphis AR.
More Ultrasound Locations in Arkansas
West Memphis, Arkansas
West Memphis is the largest city in Crittenden County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 26,245 at the 2010 census, ranking it as the state's 18th largest city, behind Bella Vista. It is part of the Memphis metropolitan area, and is located directly across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee.
Native Americans lived in the Mississippi River Valley for at least 10,000 years, although much of the evidence of their presence has been buried or destroyed. The Indians of the Mississippian Period were the last native inhabitants of the West Memphis area. Mound City Road, located within the eastern portion of the West Memphis city limits, has a marker indicating that the villages of Aquixo (Aquijo) or Pacaha were in the area. Several mounds are still visible.
Explorers from both Spain and France visited the area near West Memphis. Among those explorers were Hernando de Soto and his men from Spain and Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet from France. By the time French hunters and explorers entered the region, the Mississippian towns and other settlements had been abandoned. The original site of West Memphis came from Spanish land grants issued during the 1790s. Grants were given to Benjamin Fooy, John Henry Fooy, and Isaac Fooy in the Hopefield (Crittenden County) area and to William McKenney in the Bridgeport-West Memphis area.
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