How to Become a Sonographer | Ultrasound Tech Schools Newville AL

Picking an Ultrasound Technician College Newville Alabama

Newville AL ultrasound tech with female patientOnce you have decided to obtain an ultrasound technician degree near Newville AL, the next step is to start the procedure of picking a school. To begin with, you must find the right program that will provide the proper instruction to become a qualified professional. And because a number of states do require that sonographers be either certified or licensed, 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 investigate each college so that you can evaluate and compare your options. But exactly where does one start? A number of students will start by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their homes and then by comparing tuition. Certainly location and cost need to be considered when making a decision, but there are other important factors as well. For instance, if the ultrasound technician schools are accredited or if they provide internship programs. These and additional qualifiers will be covered more in detail later in this article. But to start with, let’s go over what a sonogram tech does and the degrees and online education options that are offered.

Ultrasound Tech Job Summary

ultrasound equipment in Newville ALThere are more than one professional 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 description, which is to implement diagnostic ultrasound procedures on patients. Even though a number of techs work as generalists there are specialties within the profession, for example in cardiology and pediatrics. Most practice in Newville AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Routine daily job duties of an ultrasound tech can involve:

  • Keeping records of patient case histories and details of each procedure
  • Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
  • Prepping the ultrasound machines for use and then cleaning and re-calibrating them
  • Moving patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
  • Utilizing equipment while minimizing patient exposure to sound waves
  • Reviewing the results and determining necessity for supplemental testing

Ultrasound techs must frequently assess the performance and safety of their machines. They also are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct as medical practitioners. So as to maintain that level of professionalism and remain current with medical knowledge, they are mandated to complete continuing education training on a regular basis.

Sonogram Technician Degree Programs Offered

Sonogram technician students have the option to acquire either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will normally require around 18 months to 2 years to accomplish based upon the program and class load. A Bachelor’s Degree will require more time at as long as four years to finish. Another alternative for individuals who have already obtained a college degree is a post graduate certificate program. If you have obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in any major or an Associate Degree in a related health field, you can instead choose a certificate program that will require only 12 to 18 months to finish. Something to consider is that the majority of ultrasound technician programs do have a practical training component as part of their curriculum. It often may be satisfied by entering into an internship program which numerous schools organize with Newville 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 whichever state you decide to work in.

Questions to Ask Ultrasound Technician Programs

Newville AL sonographer with pregnant womanWhen you have determined which degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating and comparing sonogram technician colleges. You will first probably want to choose whether you will access classes online or travel to a school campus in the Newville AL area. Naturally location will be significant if you select the latter, and the price of tuition undoubtedly will be an important qualifier also. But there are additional things that you should also take into account, such as if the schools are accredited and if they sponsor internships. So in order to perform your due diligence so that you can arrive at your ultimate selection, below are a few questions that you need ask each sonographer school prior to making a decision.

Are the Sonogram Tech Schools Accredited? Most ultrasound tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among 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 earning accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone a rigorous review of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets 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 ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Newville AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the sonogram tech colleges you are interested in have associations with Newville AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Newville healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the ultrasound tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama 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 decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Newville AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously 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 keep 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer 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 instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the ultrasound tech program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the sonographer  program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Newville AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Sonogram Tech Online Colleges

woman attending ultrasound technician school online in Newville ALAs earlier discussed, nearly all ultrasound technician schools have a clinical requirement to their programs. So while you can receive a certificate or degree online, a significant portion of the training will be either held in an on-campus laboratory or at an authorized off campus facility. Clinical training can usually be satisfied by means of an internship at a local Newville AL hospital, outpatient clinic or family practice. However the remainder of the classes and training may be accessed online in your Newville home. This is especially beneficial for those students that continue working while obtaining their degrees. In addition online schools are many times less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just as with every sonography school you are looking at, verify that the online school you choose is accredited. Among 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 motivated enough to attend classes away from the classroom in the convenience of your own home, then an online degree could be the ideal option for you.

Considering Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech School near Newville AL?

If you are considering a Sonography Tech School in the Newville Alabama area, following is some interesting history and background information about the location of your new school campus.

Newville, Alabama

James Madison Wells founded a village called "Wells" c. 1882. When the Abbeville Southern Railroad laid tracks through the town in 1893, its name was changed to "Wells Station". The post office was built in 1894. Wells Station incorporated as "Newville" in 1903.

The town of Newville became prosperous with merchants, banks, lodges, doctors, churches, Newville High School, Rosenwald High School, societies, a newspaper, a depot, sawmills, cotton gins, mule stables and all the elements required by a developing town. Newville's slow decline commenced after the Great Depression due to farm mechanization and loss of commerce.[4]

James M. and Catherine Wells donated one-half acre of land in 1887 for the site of the church and cemetery. The oldest known grave is that of William Y. Kirkland who died April 10, 1891. The church paid W.M. Harris fifty dollars in 1901 for two and one-half acres of land for the cemetery. In 1947, burial spaces were sold for 25 center per square foot. Nancy Price gave the church one acre of land for the cemetery in 1958. There are over 700 marked and unmarked graves. The Newville Cemetery was listed on the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register in 2005.[5]

Pick the Best Sonographer School Newville AL

Enrolling in the right ultrasound tech certificate or degree program is an important first step to launching a rewarding new profession delivering diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech colleges require that you have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition to meeting academic standards, you must be in at least reasonably good physical health, capable of standing for prolonged time frames with the ability to regularly lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it often necessary to position patients and maneuver heavy machinery. Other beneficial skills include technical proficiency, the ability to stay calm when faced with an anxious or angry patient and the ability to converse in a clear and compassionate manner. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at. This is the case whether you select an online degree or travel to the college campus to attend classes. And by asking the right questions so that you can assess each college, you will be able to narrow down your options until you are left with the best program for your education. And with the right training, dedication and determination to succeed, you can reach your objective to practice as an ultrasound tech in Newville AL.

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