How to Become a Sonographer | Ultrasound Tech Schools Lonoke AR

Choosing an Ultrasound Technician Degree Program Lonoke Arkansas

Lonoke AR ultrasound tech with female patientOnce you have made a decision to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Lonoke AR, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a college. First, you need to find the right program that will provide the necessary instruction to become a skilled 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 extremely important that you investigate each college so that you can assess and compare your choices. But just where does one start? Most students will start by looking for schools that are within travelling distance of their homes and then by comparing tuition. Of course cost and location need to be taken into account when making a decision, but there are other important factors also. For instance, if the ultrasound technician schools have earned accreditation or if they provide internships. These and additional qualifications will be covered more in depth later in this article. But to start with, let’s go over what a sonogram tech does and the credentials and online training options that are available.

Sonogram Tech Work Summary

ultrasound equipment in Lonoke ARThere are multiple professional titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also referred to as sonogram techs, diagnostic medical sonographers (or just sonographers) and ultrasound technologists. No matter what their title is, they all have the same basic job function, which is to carry out diagnostic ultrasound techniques on patients. Although a number of techs practice as generalists there are specialties within the field, for example in pediatrics and cardiology. Most practice in Lonoke AR hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Common daily job tasks of an ultrasound technician may consist of:

  • Preserving records of patient case histories and details of each procedure
  • Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
  • Readying the ultrasound machines for testing and then sterilizing and re-calibrating them
  • Transferring patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
  • Operating equipment while minimizing patient exposure to sound waves
  • Reviewing the results and identifying necessity for further testing

Sonographers must regularly evaluate the safety and performance of their equipment. They also must adhere to a high professional standard and code of conduct as health practitioners. So as to sustain that degree of professionalism and remain current with medical knowledge, they are mandated to complete continuing education courses on an ongoing basis.

Sonogram Technician Degree Programs Available

Sonogram technician enrollees have the option to acquire either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will usually involve about 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to finalize. Another alternative for those 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 related health field, you can instead choose a certificate program that will require just 12 to 18 months to finish. One thing to consider is that the majority of 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 schools organize through Lonoke AR hospitals and clinics. After you have graduated from any of the degree or certificate programs, you will then have to comply with the certification or licensing prerequisites in Arkansas or whatever state you choose to work in.

Questions to Ask Ultrasound Technician Colleges

Lonoke AR sonographer with pregnant womanWhen you have decided on which degree or certificate that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating and comparing ultrasound tech schools. You will first probably want to choose whether you would rather access classes online or commute to a college campus in the Lonoke AR area. Naturally location will be critical if you choose the latter, and the cost of tuition undoubtedly will be an initial qualification as well. But there are other variables that you should also take into consideration, for instance if the programs are accredited and if they offer internship programs. Therefore in order to carry out your due diligence so that you can arrive at your ultimate selection, below are several questions that you need ask each sonographer school before deciding.

Are the Sonogram Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of ultrasound tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies 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 gone through an extensive examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Lonoke AR health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the ultrasound tech programs you are assessing have partnerships with Lonoke AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Lonoke medical community and help with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the sonographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arkansas 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 select will have to be within driving distance of their Lonoke AR home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far 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 one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want 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 students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the sonogram tech program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the ultrasound tech  program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Lonoke AR area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Online Sonogram Tech Classes

woman attending ultrasound technician school online in Lonoke ARAs earlier discussed, nearly all ultrasound technician colleges have a clinical component to their programs. So although you can receive a degree or certificate online, a significant portion of the training will be either carried out in an on campus laboratory or at an approved off-campus facility. Clinical training can typically be satisfied by means of an internship at a local Lonoke AR hospital, outpatient clinic or family practice. But the balance of the classes and training may be accessed online in your Lonoke home. This is especially beneficial for those students that continue working while obtaining their degrees. Plus online schools are often more affordable than traditional options. Expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just as with any ultrasound tech program you are looking at, check that the online school you select is accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is particularly important for licensing, certification and finding employment (more on accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn outside of the classroom in the convenience of your own home, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.

Considering Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech School near Lonoke AR?

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

Lonoke, Arkansas

Lonoke is the second most populous city in Lonoke County, Arkansas, United States, and serves as its county seat. According to 2010 United States Census, the population of the city is 4,245. It is part of the Little Rock–North Little Rock–Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Lonoke's history begins with the advance of Union troops through Central Arkansas during the American Civil War. The town of Brownsville was burned to the ground by Union forces after the retreat of Confederate forces westward to Little Rock. After the war, it was decided by the city leaders of Brownsville that a new town should be formed by the nearby railroad so that those who wished to stay could do so.

According to local legend, the town was named for a large red oak tree that was found while trees were being chopped down in order to build houses. The official name of the city was originally Lone Oak. However, due to a misprint in the Lonoke Democrat newspaper, the town's name was printed as Lonoak. Eventually, this misspelling became further misspelled as Lonoke.

Pick the Best Ultrasound Tech School Lonoke AR

Choosing the ideal sonographer degree or certificate program is an important first step to commencing a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound technician colleges require that you have earned a high school diploma or a GED. Along with satisfying academic requirements, you should be in at least reasonably good physical condition, capable of standing for lengthy durations with the ability to regularly lift weights of fifty pounds or more, as is it often necessary to adjust patients and move heavy equipment. Other beneficial talents include technical proficiency, the ability to remain collected when confronted by an anxious or angry patient and the ability to converse in a clear and compassionate manner. As we have addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are considering. This is the case whether you enroll in an online degree or commute 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 choices until you are left with the best program for your education. And with the proper training, discipline and determination to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as an ultrasound technologist in Lonoke AR.

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