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How to Become a Sonographer | Ultrasound Tech Schools Stonington CT

Selecting an Ultrasound Technician Degree Program Stonington Connecticut

Stonington CT ultrasound tech with female patientOnce you have decided to obtain an ultrasound technician degree near Stonington CT, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. To begin with, you must find the ideal program that will furnish the appropriate training to become a skilled professional. And since some states do mandate that ultrasound techs be either certified or licensed, depending on where you will practice you may also need to be prepared to pass a licensing or certification exam. So it’s extremely important that you research each college so that you can assess and compare your options. But exactly where does one begin? Most individuals will start by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Certainly location and cost need to be taken into account when arriving at a decision, but there are other important factors as well. Such as, if the ultrasound technician schools are accredited or if they offer internship programs. These and other qualifications will be covered more in depth later in this post. But to start with, let’s go over what a sonogram tech does and the credentials and online training programs that are available.

Sonographer Work Description

ultrasound equipment in Stonington CTThere are several acceptable titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also referred to as 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 carry out diagnostic ultrasound testing on patients. Although a number of techs practice as generalists there are specializations within the field, for example in pediatrics and cardiology. The majority work in Stonington CT clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Typical daily job duties of a sonogram tech can involve:

  • Preserving 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 re-calibrating them
  • Transferring patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
  • Using equipment while minimizing patient exposure to sound waves
  • Evaluating results and determining necessity for additional testing

Sonographers must routinely assess the safety and performance of their machines. They also are held to a high ethical standard and code of conduct as health practitioners. In order to maintain that degree of professionalism and remain current with medical knowledge, they are mandated to enroll in continuing education courses on an ongoing basis.

Ultrasound Tech Degree Programs Available

Sonogram tech enrollees have the option to acquire either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will usually involve around 18 months to 2 years to accomplish based upon the program and class load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as long as four years to finalize. Another alternative for individuals who have previously received 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 sector, you can instead choose a certificate program that will require only 12 to 18 months to complete. Something to consider is that the majority of ultrasound technician colleges do have a clinical training element as part of their course of study. It often may be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which numerous schools set up through Stonington CT hospitals and clinics. After you have graduated from one of the certificate or degree programs, you will then need to fulfill the licensing or certification prerequisites in Connecticut or whatever state you decide to practice in.

What to Ask Ultrasound Technician Colleges

Stonington CT sonographer with pregnant womanAfter you have determined which degree or certificate that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing and comparing sonogram technician colleges. You may first want to choose whether you would rather attend classes online or travel to a college campus in the Stonington CT area. Naturally location will be significant if you decide on 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 instance if the schools are accredited and if they offer internship programs. So in order to perform your due diligence so that you can arrive at your final selection, below are several questions that you may want to ask each sonography program prior to making a decision.

Are the Sonogram Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of ultrasound tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of sonography is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone a rigorous review of their instructors 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 learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Stonington CT health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the sonogram technician programs you are reviewing have associations with Stonington CT hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Stonington health care community and help with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the ultrasound tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Connecticut healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Stonington CT home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the ultrasound technician program also.

Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the ultrasound tech  school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Stonington CT area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Ultrasound Tech Online Colleges

woman attending ultrasound technician school online in Stonington CTAs aforementioned, nearly all ultrasound tech schools have a practical requirement to their programs. So although you can receive a degree or certificate online, a substantial portion of the training will be either conducted in an on campus lab or at an approved off campus facility. Clinical training can often be fulfilled by means of an internship at a local Stonington CT hospital, outpatient clinic or family practice. But the remainder of the training and classes can be accessed online in your Stonington home. This is particularly convenient for those individuals that keep working while earning their degrees. In addition online colleges are frequently less expensive than on campus alternatives. Costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But similarly as with every sonographer program you are considering, make sure that the online program you choose is accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is especially significant for certification, licensing and job placement (more on accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn away from the classroom in the convenience of your own home, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.

Considering Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech School near Stonington CT?

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

Stonington, Connecticut

The town of Stonington is located in New London County, Connecticut, United States, in the state's southeastern corner. It includes the borough of Stonington, the villages of Pawcatuck, Lords Point, Wequetequock, and the eastern halves of the villages of Mystic and Old Mystic (the other halves being in the town of Groton). The population of the town was 18,545 at the 2010 census.[1]

The first European colonists established a trading house in the Pawcatuck section of town in 1649. The present territory of Stonington was part of lands that had belonged to the Pequot people, who referred to the areas making up Stonington as Pawcatuck (Stony Brook to the Pawcatuck River) and Mistack (Mystic River to Stony Brook). It was named "Souther Towne" or Southerton by Massachusetts in 1658, and officially became part of Connecticut in 1662 when Connecticut received its royal charter. Southerton was renamed "Mistick" in 1665,[2]:26 and finally named Stonington in 1666,[2]:36 meaning "stony town".[3]Thomas Miner, Walter Palmer, William Chesebrough, and Thomas Stanton were the founders. The town of North Stonington was set off as a parish from Stonington in 1724 and incorporated as a town in 1807.

Stonington first gained wealth in the 1790s when its harbor was home to a fleet engaged in the profitable seal hunting trade in which seals were hunted on islands off the Chilean and Patagonian coasts, and their skins were sold as fur in China.[4]

Pick the Best Ultrasound Tech College Stonington CT

Picking the ideal ultrasound tech degree or certificate program is a vital first step to starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic services to patients. Sonographer programs require that you have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition to satisfying academic requirements, you need to be in at least fairly good physical health, capable of standing for extended periods and able to routinely lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it often necessary to position patients and maneuver heavy machinery. Other desirable talents include technical proficiency, the ability to remain collected when faced with an angry or anxious patient and the ability to converse in a clear and compassionate manner. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing. This is true whether you enroll in an online degree or travel to the school campus to attend classes. And by asking the proper questions so that you can evaluate each school, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives until you are left with the best program for your education. And with the right training, discipline and determination to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as an ultrasound technologist in Stonington CT.

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