How to Become a Sonographer | Ultrasound Tech Schools Russellville AR

Choosing an Ultrasound Technician Degree Program Russellville Arkansas

Russellville AR ultrasound tech with female patientSince you have decided to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Russellville AR, the next step is to begin the procedure of picking a college. First, you must find the right program that will provide the necessary instruction to become a skilled professional. And given that a number of states do require that ultrasound techs be either licensed or certified, depending on your residence you may also need to be prepared to pass a certification or licensing exam. So it’s extremely important that you research each college so that you can assess and compare your choices. But exactly where does one start? A number of prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are within travelling distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Of course location and cost need to be taken into account when arriving at a decision, but there are other significant factors also. For instance, if the ultrasound technician schools are accredited or if they provide internships. These and additional qualifications will be addressed more in detail later in this article. But to start with, let’s discuss what an ultrasound tech does and the degrees and online training options that are available.

Sonographer Job Description

ultrasound equipment in Russellville ARThere are multiple professional titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also called sonogram techs, diagnostic medical sonographers (or just sonographers) and ultrasound technologists. Regardless of name, they all have the same basic job description, which is to implement diagnostic ultrasound techniques on patients. Even though many practice as generalists there are specialties within the field, for instance in cardiology and pediatrics. Most work in Russellville AR clinics, hospitals, outpatient diagnostic imaging centers and even private practices. Common daily job tasks of a sonogram tech may involve:

  • Preserving records of patient medical histories and specifics of each procedure
  • Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
  • Readying the ultrasound machines for use and then sterilizing and recalibrating them
  • Escorting patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
  • Utilizing equipment while minimizing patient exposure to sound waves
  • Assessing results and determining necessity for further testing

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

Sonogram Technician Degree Programs Available

Sonogram technician enrollees have the option to acquire either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will usually involve about 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish. Another alternative for those who have already obtained a college degree is a post graduate certificate program. If you have received 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 require only 12 to 18 months to finish. Something to consider is that the majority of sonographer schools do have a practical training element as a portion of their course of study. It often may be satisfied by participating in an internship program which numerous schools set up with Russellville AR hospitals and clinics. When you have graduated from any of the certificate or degree programs, you will then have to satisfy the certification or licensing requirements in Arkansas or whichever state you elect to work in.

Subjects to Ask Ultrasound Tech Colleges

Russellville AR sonographer with pregnant womanWhen you have determined which degree or certificate that you would like to earn, you can start the procedure of reviewing and comparing ultrasound technician schools. You may first want to choose whether you will attend classes online or travel to a school campus in the Russellville AR area. Obviously location will be critical if you choose the latter, and the price of tuition no doubt will be an initial qualifier also. But there are additional variables that you must also take into account, for example if the programs are accredited and if they sponsor internship programs. Therefore in order to carry out your due diligence so that you can arrive at your final selection, following are several questions that you need ask each ultrasound tech school before deciding.

Are the Sonogram Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of sonogram tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of sonography is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone an extensive review of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Russellville AR health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level jobs.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the sonogram tech colleges you are evaluating have associations with Russellville AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Russellville healthcare community and help with job placement.

Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the sonographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Arkansas healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Russellville AR home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 college that is out of state or perhaps 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 typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching 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 an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the ultrasound tech program also.

Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the sonographer  school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Russellville AR area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Sonographer Online Colleges

woman attending ultrasound technician school online in Russellville ARAs aforementioned, nearly all ultrasound tech schools have a clinical requirement to their programs. So although you can receive a degree or certificate online, a substantial part of the training will be either held in an on campus lab or at a sponsored off campus medical care provider. Practical training can typically be fulfilled through an internship at a local Russellville AR hospital, outpatient clinic or private practice. But the remainder of the classes and training can be attended online in your Russellville home. This is especially beneficial for those individuals that keep working while getting their degrees. In addition online colleges are often less expensive than on-campus options. Expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just as with every ultrasound tech college you are looking at, confirm 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 significant for licensing, certification and finding employment (more on accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to attend classes away from the classroom in the convenience of your own home, then an online school could be the right option for you.

Considering Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech School near Russellville AR?

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

Russellville, Arkansas

Russellville is the county seat and largest city in Pope County, Arkansas, United States, with a population of 27,920, according to the 2010 Census. It is home to Arkansas Tech University and Arkansas Nuclear One, Arkansas' only nuclear power plant. Russellville borders Lake Dardanelle and the Arkansas River.

Before the town was named Russellville, it was known as Chactas Prairie, The Prairie, or Cactus Flats. In the early 19th century, Osage from Missouri hunted frequently in the valley where Russellville is located. Between 1818 and 1828, the area was within a Cherokee reservation, but after 1828 the Cherokee were removed to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), and the land became available for white settlement. The first settler in the area was P.C. Holledger in 1834.

One year later, Dr. Thomas Russell[4] bought Holledger's house. The first business to be established in the town was owned by Mr. Shinn, who later built a masonry structure to replace his wooden store in 1875. This building still exists today, and is known as the Shinn Building. It was built at the intersection of an east-west road from Little Rock to Fort Smith and a north-south buffalo trail to a ford on the Arkansas River. Early travelers used these established trails to pass through the valley. When the town's residents decided to name the town, it came down to two choices: Shinnville or Russellville, and Russellville won.

Select the Ideal Sonographer Program Russellville AR

Enrolling in the right sonographer degree or certificate program is a vital first step to launching a gratifying new profession furnishing diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech colleges require that you have earned a high school diploma or a GED. Apart from meeting academic requirements, you need to be in at least reasonably good physical health, able to stand for extended durations with the ability to routinely lift weights of fifty pounds or more, as is it typically necessary to position patients and maneuver heavy equipment. Additional helpful skills include technical proficiency, the ability to remain calm when confronted by an anxious or angry patient and the ability to communicate clearly and compassionately. As we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at. This is the case whether you select an online degree or drive to the school campus to attend classes. And by asking the appropriate questions so that you can compare each program, you can narrow down your options until you are left with the ideal school for your education. And with the right training, discipline and determination to succeed, you can achieve your objective to work as an ultrasound technologist in Russellville AR.

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