How to Become a Sonographer | Ultrasound Tech Schools Burbank CA

Selecting an Ultrasound Technician Degree Program Burbank California

Burbank CA ultrasound tech with female patientOnce you have made a decision to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Burbank CA, the next step is to begin the process of selecting a college. To begin with, you must find the ideal program that will furnish the appropriate training to become a qualified professional. And because some states do mandate that ultrasound techs 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 very important that you research each college in order to evaluate and compare your alternatives. But exactly where does one start? A number of prospective students will start by searching for colleges that are within travelling distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Of course location and cost must be considered when arriving at a decision, but there are additional critical factors also. Such as, if the ultrasound technician schools have earned accreditation or if they offer internships. These and other qualifiers will be covered more in depth later in this article. But first, let’s go over what a sonogram tech does and the credentials and online education options that are offered.

Ultrasound Technician Job Summary

ultrasound equipment in Burbank CAThere 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 function, which is to implement diagnostic ultrasound testing on patients. Even though many work as generalists there are specializations within the profession, for example in pediatrics and cardiology. Most practice in Burbank CA clinics, hospitals, outpatient diagnostic imaging centers and even private practices. Common daily work duties of an ultrasound tech may consist of:

  • Keeping records of patient medical histories and details of each procedure
  • Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
  • Prepping the ultrasound machines for usage and then cleaning 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 additional testing

Sonographers must regularly assess 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 degree of professionalism and stay current with medical knowledge, they are required to enroll in continuing education training on a regular basis.

Sonogram Tech Degree Programs Offered

Sonogram technician enrollees have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will usually involve around 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish. Another option 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 relevant health sector, you can enroll in a certificate program that will require 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 curriculum. It can often be satisfied by entering into an internship program which many schools sponsor with Burbank CA clinics and hospitals. After you have graduated from any of the degree or certificate programs, you will then need to fulfill the certification or licensing requirements in California or whichever state you decide to practice in.

Questions to Ask Ultrasound Technician Schools

Burbank CA sonographer with pregnant womanAs soon as you have determined which certificate or degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the procedure of reviewing and comparing sonogram tech schools. You will first probably want to decide whether you will attend classes online or commute to a school campus in the Burbank CA area. Of course location will be important if you select the latter, and the cost of tuition no doubt will be an important qualification as well. But there are other things that you should also take into account, 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 final selection, following are several questions that you need ask each ultrasound tech program prior to making a decision.

Are the Ultrasound Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of ultrasound technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still imperative to verify that the school and program 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 receiving accreditation from the JRC-DMS have gone through an extensive examination of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Burbank CA health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the ultrasound tech schools you are interested in have relationships with Burbank CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Burbank medical community and help with job placement.

Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the sonographer programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with California healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Burbank CA residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools 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 determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the ultrasound tech program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the sonographer  college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Burbank CA area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Online Sonographer Schools

woman attending ultrasound technician school online in Burbank CAAs earlier discussed, almost all ultrasound technician schools have a clinical requirement to their programs. So although you can earn a certificate or degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be either carried out in an on-campus laboratory or at an approved off campus facility. Clinical training can usually be fulfilled through an internship at a local Burbank CA outpatient clinic, hospital or family practice. However the rest of the classes and training can be attended online in your Burbank home. This is particularly beneficial for those individuals that continue working while getting their degrees. In addition online schools are often more affordable than on campus options. Expenses for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just as with any sonographer school you are looking at, check that the online school you enroll in is accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is particularly important for licensing, certification and job placement (more on accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to attend classes away from the classroom in the comfort of your own home, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.

Considering Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech School near Burbank CA?

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

Burbank, California

Billed as the "Media Capital of the World"[10] and only a few miles northeast of Hollywood, numerous media and entertainment companies are headquartered or have significant production facilities in Burbank, including The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, The Burbank Studios, Cartoon Network Studios with the West Coast branch of Cartoon Network, and Insomniac Games. The Hollywood Burbank Airport was the location of Lockheed's Skunk Works, which produced some of the most secret and technologically advanced airplanes, including the U-2 spy planes that uncovered the Soviet Union missile components in Cuba in October 1962.

Burbank consists of two distinct areas: a downtown/foothill section, in the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains, and the flatland section. The city was referred to as "Beautiful Downtown Burbank" on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The city was named after David Burbank, a New Hampshire–born dentist and entrepreneur who established a sheep ranch there in 1867.[11][12]

The city of Burbank occupies land that was originally part of two Spanish and Mexican-era colonial land grants, the 36,400-acre (147 km2) Rancho San Rafael, granted to Jose Maria Verdugo by the Spanish Bourbon government in 1784, and the 4,063-acre (16.44 km2) Rancho Providencia created in 1821. Historically, this area was the scene of a military skirmish which resulted in the unseating of the Spanish Governor of California, and his replacement by the Mexican leader Pio Pico. Remnants of the military battle reportedly were found many years later in the vicinity of Warner Bros. Studio when residents dug up cannonballs.[13]

Choose the Right Ultrasound Tech School Burbank CA

Choosing the ideal ultrasound technician degree or certificate program is an important first step to launching a rewarding new profession furnishing diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech programs require that you have a high school diploma or a GED. Apart from satisfying academic requirements, you must be in at least reasonably good physical condition, capable of standing for lengthy periods with the ability to routinely lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it often necessary to adjust patients and maneuver heavy equipment. Additional helpful talents include technical proficiency, the ability to remain levelheaded when faced with an anxious or angry patient and the ability to converse clearly and compassionately. As we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at. This is the case whether you select an online degree or commute to the college campus to attend classes. And by asking the appropriate questions so that you can compare each school, you will be able to narrow down your options until you are left with the ideal school for your education. And with the proper training, dedication and determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as an sonographer in Burbank CA.

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