Selecting an Ultrasound Technician Training Program State University Arkansas
Now that you have decided to obtain an ultrasound technician degree near State University AR, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. First, you need to find the ideal program that will provide the necessary training to become a qualified professional. And because a number of states do require that sonographers be either certified or licensed, depending on your residence you may also need to be prepared to pass a certification or licensing exam. So it’s very important that you investigate each college so that you can evaluate and compare your options. But just where does one begin? Most prospective students will begin by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Certainly location and cost must be considered when making a decision, but there are other critical factors also. For example, if the ultrasound technician schools have earned accreditation or if they provide internships. These and other qualifiers will be addressed more in detail later in this article. But to start with, let’s go over what an ultrasound tech does and the degrees and online training options that are offered.
Sonogram Tech Work Description
There are several acceptable titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also called sonogram techs, diagnostic medical sonographers (or just sonographers) and ultrasound technologists. No matter what their title is, they all have the same primary job function, which is to implement diagnostic ultrasound techniques on patients. While many practice as generalists there are specialties within the field, for example in pediatrics and cardiology. Most practice in State University AR clinics, hospitals, outpatient diagnostic imaging centers and even private practices. Typical daily job functions of an ultrasound tech can include:
- 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 usage and then sterilizing and recalibrating them
- Escorting patients to treatment rooms and ensuring their comfort
- Using equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
- Evaluating results and identifying necessity for supplemental testing
Ultrasound techs must routinely evaluate the performance and safety of their machines. They also must adhere to a high professional standard and code of conduct as health practitioners. So as to maintain that degree of professionalism and stay up to date with medical knowledge, they are required to complete continuing education courses on a regular basis.
Sonogram Technician Degrees Offered
Ultrasound technician enrollees have the choice to acquire either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will typically take around 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and class load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as long as 4 years to complete. Another alternative for those who have previously earned 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 relevant medical field, you can enroll in a certificate program that will take only 12 to 18 months to finish. Something to consider is that the majority of sonographer programs do have a practical training component as part of their course of study. It often may be fulfilled by entering into an internship program which many colleges set up through State University AR clinics and hospitals. When you have graduated from any of the certificate or degree programs, you will then have to comply with the certification or licensing requirements in Arkansas or whatever state you decide to practice in.
What to Ask Ultrasound Technician Programs
Once you have decided on which degree or certificate that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of evaluating and comparing sonogram tech colleges. You may first want to choose whether you will access classes online or travel to a school campus in the State University AR area. Of course location will be important if you choose the latter, and the price of tuition undoubtedly will be an important qualifier also. But there are other things that you should also take into consideration, for instance 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 several questions that you may want to ask each ultrasound tech school before deciding.
Are the Ultrasound Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of sonogram technician colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of sonography is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone a detailed assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous State University AR health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the ultrasound tech colleges you are evaluating have relationships with State University AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the State University healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the sonographer programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Arkansas healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their State University AR residence. 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 area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the sonogram technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the sonographer program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the State University AR area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Online Sonogram Tech Colleges
As previously mentioned, virtually all ultrasound tech colleges have a clinical requirement to their programs. So while you can obtain a degree or certificate online, a significant portion of the training will be either carried out in an on campus lab or at an approved off-campus medical care provider. Clinical training can typically be satisfied through an internship at a local State University AR outpatient clinic, hospital or family practice. But the rest of the classes and training may be attended online in your State University home. This is particularly beneficial for those students that keep working while obtaining their degrees. In addition online colleges are frequently less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But similarly as with any sonographer school you are reviewing, check 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 significant for licensing, certification and finding employment (more on accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn outside of the classroom in the convenience of your own home, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Considering Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech School near State University AR?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School in the State University Arkansas area, following is some interesting history and background information about the location of your new school campus.
Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University (also known as A-State) is a public research university and is the flagship campus of the Arkansas State University System, the state's second largest college system and second largest university by enrollment. It is located atop 1,376 acres (5.6 km2) on Crowley's Ridge at Jonesboro, Arkansas, United States. The university marked its centennial year in 2009. Arkansas State has Sun Belt rivalries with all West Division schools (Little Rock, Louisiana, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas State, and UT Arlington). Their primary Sun Belt rivals are Little Rock and Louisiana-Monroe.
A-State was founded as the First District Agricultural School in Jonesboro in 1909 by the Arkansas Legislature as a regional agricultural training school. Robert W. Glover, a Missionary Baptist pastor who served in both houses of the Arkansas Legislature from Sheridan (1905–1912), introduced in 1909 the resolution calling for the establishment of four state agricultural colleges, including the future ASU.
In 1918, ASU began offering a two-year college program. In 1925, it became First District Agricultural and Mechanical College. A four-year degree program was begun in 1930. A & M College became Arkansas State College in 1933. In 1967, the Arkansas Legislature elevated the college to university status and changed the name to Arkansas State University.
Enroll in the Best Ultrasound Tech Program State University AR
Choosing the right ultrasound tech degree or certificate program is an important first step to commencing a gratifying new career delivering diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound technician schools require that you have a high school diploma or a GED. Apart from meeting academic requirements, you should be in at least reasonably good physical condition, able to stand for extended durations and able to regularly lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it often necessary to adjust patients and move heavy equipment. Other preferred talents include technical proficiency, the ability to keep calm when confronted by an anxious or angry patient and the ability to converse in a clear and compassionate manner. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering. This is the case whether you enroll in an online program or commute to the college campus to attend classes. And by asking the right questions so that you can evaluate each college, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives until you are left with the ideal program for your education. And with the proper training, discipline and motivation to succeed, you can reach your objective to work as an ultrasound tech in State University AR.
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