How to Become a Sonographer | Ultrasound Tech Schools Tempe AZ

Finding an Ultrasound Technician Training Program Tempe Arizona

Tempe AZ ultrasound tech with female patientSince you have made a decision to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Tempe AZ, the next step is to start the procedure of selecting a college. First, you need to find the ideal program that will furnish the appropriate instruction to become a qualified professional. And since 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 licensing or certification examination. So it’s extremely important that you investigate each program in order to evaluate and compare your options. But just where does one start? A number of potential students will begin by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their homes and then by comparing tuition. Certainly cost and location should be considered when arriving at a decision, but there are other important factors also. Such as, if the ultrasound technician schools are accredited or if they offer internship programs. These and other qualifiers will be covered more in detail later in this post. But first, let’s go over what an ultrasound tech does and the credentials and online education options that are offered.

Ultrasound Technician Occupation Description

ultrasound equipment in Tempe AZThere are various professional titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also called ultrasound technologists, sonogram techs, and diagnostic medical sonographers (or just sonographers). No matter what their title is, they all have the same basic job description, which is to implement diagnostic ultrasound testing on patients. Even though many work as generalists there are specialties within the profession, for example in pediatrics and cardiology. The majority work in Tempe AZ hospitals, clinics, outpatient diagnostic imaging centers and even private practices. Typical daily work duties of an ultrasound tech may involve:

  • Keeping records of patient medical histories and specifics of each procedure
  • Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
  • Preparing the ultrasound machines for testing and then sterilizing and re-calibrating them
  • Transferring patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
  • Using equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
  • Assessing results and determining necessity for further testing

Ultrasound techs must frequently evaluate the performance and safety of their machines. They also are held to a high ethical standard and code of conduct as health practitioners. So as to sustain that level of professionalism and remain up to date with medical knowledge, they are required to complete continuing education training on an ongoing basis.

Ultrasound Technician Degree Programs Available

Ultrasound technician enrollees have the opportunity to acquire either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will normally require about 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish. Another alternative for individuals who have already earned 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 relevant health sector, you can enroll in a certificate program that will take just 12 to 18 months to complete. Something to bear in mind is that most sonographer colleges do have a practical training element as a portion of their course of study. It often may be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges organize with Tempe AZ hospitals and clinics. When you have graduated from any of the degree or certificate programs, you will then have to fulfill the certification or licensing prerequisites in Arizona or whichever state you choose to practice in.

Subjects to Ask Ultrasound Tech Schools

Tempe AZ sonographer with pregnant womanAfter you have decided on which certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of assessing and comparing ultrasound tech schools. You will first probably want to decide whether you will attend classes online or travel to a school campus in the Tempe AZ area. Clearly location will be significant if you choose the latter, and the cost of tuition undoubtedly will be an initial qualifier as well. But there are additional variables that you must also take into consideration, for example if the schools are accredited and if they sponsor internship programs. So in order to complete your due diligence so that you can make your ultimate selection, following are a few questions that you may want to ask each ultrasound tech college prior to making a decision.

Are the Ultrasound Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of sonogram technician colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still imperative to verify that the program and school 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRC-DMS have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Tempe AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the ultrasound tech colleges you are reviewing have associations with Tempe AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Tempe medical community and assist with job placement.

Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the ultrasound tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Tempe AZ home. Students who have opted 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. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently 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 likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student 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 a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the ultrasound tech program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the sonographer  program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Tempe AZ 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 enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Online Sonogram Tech Schools

woman attending ultrasound technician school online in Tempe AZAs aforementioned, virtually all sonogram technician schools have a practical component to their programs. So while you can earn a certificate or degree online, a significant part of the training will be either held in an on-campus laboratory or at an authorized off campus facility. Clinical training can often be satisfied by means of an internship at a local Tempe AZ outpatient clinic, hospital or private practice. But the balance of the training and classes may be accessed online in your Tempe home. This is especially beneficial for those individuals that keep working while obtaining their degrees. Plus online colleges are many times more affordable than traditional alternatives. Costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But similarly as with any sonography school you are considering, make sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is especially important for licensing, certification and finding employment (more on accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn away from the classroom in the comfort of your own home, then an online degree could be the ideal option for you.

Considering Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech School near Tempe AZ?

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

Tempe, Arizona

Tempe (/ˈtɛmpiː/ TEM'-pee;[4]Oidbaḍ in Pima), also known as Hayden's Ferry during the territorial times of Arizona, is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2017 population of 185,038.[3] The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale on the north, Chandler on the south, and Mesa on the east. Tempe is also the location of the main campus of Arizona State University.

Fort McDowell was established approximately 25 mi (40 km) northeast of present downtown Tempe on the upper Salt River in 1865 allowing for new towns to be built farther down the Salt River. US military service members and Hispanic workers were hired to grow food and animal feed to supply the fort, and less than a year later, had set up small camps near the river that were the first permanent communities in the Valley after the fall of the Hohokam. (Phoenix was settled shortly afterward, by 1867–68.) The two settlements were 'Hayden's Ferry', named after a ferry service operated by Charles T. Hayden, and 'San Pablo', and were located west and east of Hayden Butte respectively. The ferry became the key river crossing in the area. The Tempe Irrigating Canal Company was soon established by William Kirkland and James McKinney to provide water for alfalfa, wheat, barley, oats, and cotton.

Pioneer Darrell Duppa is credited with suggesting Tempe's name, adopted in 1879, after comparing the Salt River valley near a 300-foot (91 m)-tall butte, to the Vale of Tempe near Mount Olympus in Greece.[5]

Choose the Right Ultrasound Tech College Tempe AZ

Selecting the ideal ultrasound technician degree or certificate program is an important first step to embarking on a fulfilling new profession delivering diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech schools require that you have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Along with meeting academic standards, you should be in at least reasonably good physical condition, able to stand for extended durations with the ability to routinely lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it often necessary to position patients and maneuver heavy machines. Additional beneficial skills include technical aptitude, the ability to stay levelheaded when confronted by an angry or anxious patient and the ability to converse clearly and compassionately. As we have covered in this post, there are multiple questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing. This is true 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 assess each program, you can narrow down your options until you are left with the best program for your education. And with the proper training, discipline and determination to succeed, you can accomplish your objective to practice as an ultrasound technologist in Tempe AZ.

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