How to Select the Right Ultrasound Technician Training Program near Whittier Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Whittier AK, the next step is to start the process of choosing a school. First, you need to find the right program that will provide the appropriate instruction to become a qualified professional. And because some states do mandate that ultrasound techs be either certified or licensed, depending on your residence you may also need preparation to pass a certification or licensing exam. So it’s very important that you research each school so that you can evaluate and compare your options. But exactly where does one begin? Many prospective students will begin by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Of course cost and location should be taken into account when arriving at a decision, but there are other critical factors as well. Such as, if the ultrasound technician schools have earned accreditation or if they sponsor internships. These and additional qualifiers will be addressed more in depth later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what an ultrasound tech does and the degrees and online education options that are offered.
Sonographer Work Summary
There are several professional titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also referred to as ultrasound technologists, sonogram techs, and diagnostic medical sonographers (or just sonographers). Regardless of name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to perform diagnostic ultrasound procedures on patients. While many practice as generalists there are specialties within the field, for instance in cardiology and pediatrics. The majority practice in Whittier AK clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Standard daily job duties of an ultrasound technician can consist of:
- Preserving records of patient medical histories and details of each procedure
- Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
- Preparing the ultrasound machines for use and then sterilizing and re-calibrating them
- Escorting patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
- Operating equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
- Evaluating results and identifying need for additional testing
Sonographers 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. In order to maintain that level of professionalism and remain up to date with medical knowledge, they are required to enroll in continuing education courses on a regular basis.
Ultrasound Technician Degree Programs Available
Sonogram tech students have the choice to acquire either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will usually require 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 4 years to finish. Another option for those 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 related medical sector, you can instead choose a certificate program that will require just 12 to 18 months to complete. Something to consider is that most sonographer programs do have a clinical training component as part of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges organize with Whittier AK clinics and hospitals. After you have graduated from any of the degree or certificate programs, you will then need to comply with the licensing or certification prerequisites in Alaska or whatever state you choose to work in.
Online Ultrasound Tech Schools
As earlier discussed, nearly all sonogram technician colleges have a practical requirement to their programs. So while you can receive a degree or certificate online, a significant portion of the training will be either held in an on-campus lab or at a sponsored off-campus medical care provider. Clinical training can usually be fulfilled by means of an internship at a local Whittier AK hospital, outpatient clinic or family practice. However the balance of the classes and training can be attended online in your Whittier home. This is particularly beneficial for those individuals that continue working while obtaining their degrees. In addition online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But similarly as with every sonography college you are considering, confirm that the online program you ultimately pick is accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies 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 disciplined enough to learn away from the classroom in the comfort of your own home, then online classes could be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Sonography Colleges
After you have determined the type of degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of assessing and comparing sonogram tech colleges. You may first want to decide whether you will attend classes online or commute to a school campus in the Whittier AK area. Certainly location will be important if you decide on the latter, and the price of tuition no doubt will be an important qualification also. But there are additional factors that you must also take into consideration, for instance if the programs are accredited and if they offer internship programs. Therefore in order to complete your due diligence so that you can arrive at your ultimate selection, below are some questions that you may want to ask each ultrasound tech college before deciding.
Are the Ultrasound Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of ultrasound tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected 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 assessment 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 learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Whittier AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the ultrasound tech colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Whittier AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Whittier health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the sonographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Whittier AK home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the ultrasound technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the sonographer program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Whittier AK area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech Program near Whittier AK?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School near Whittier Alaska, following is some interesting background information about the location of your new school campus.
Whittier is a city at the head of the Passage Canal in the U.S. state of Alaska, about 58 miles (93 km) southeast of Anchorage. The city is within the Valdez–Cordova Census Area. At the 2010 census the population was 220, up from 182 in 2000. The 2016 estimate was 214 people, almost all of whom live in a single building. Whittier is also a port for the Alaska Marine Highway.
The region occupied by Whittier was once part of the portage route of the Chugach people native to Prince William Sound. Later, the passage was used by Russian and American explorers, and by prospecting miners during the gold rush. The nearby Whittier glacier was named for American poet John Greenleaf Whittier in 1915, and the town eventually took the name as well.
During World War II, the United States Army constructed a military facility, complete with port and railroad near Whittier Glacier and named the facility Camp Sullivan. The spur of the Alaska Railroad to Camp Sullivan was completed in 1943 and the port became the entrance for United States soldiers into Alaska.
The two buildings that dominate the town were built after World War II. The 14-story Hodge Building (renamed Begich Towers) was completed in 1957 and contains 150 two-and-three-bedroom apartments plus bachelor efficiency units. Dependent families and Civil Service employees were moved into this high-rise. The Whittier School was connected by a tunnel at the base of the west tower so students could safely access school on days with bad weather. The building was named in honor of Colonel Walter William Hodge, who was a civil engineer and the commanding officer of 93rd Engineer Regiment on the Alcan Highway.
Find the Right Diagnostic Medical Sonography Programs Whittier AK
Choosing the right sonographer degree or certificate program is a crucial first step to initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic services to patients. Sonographer schools require that you have a high school diploma or equivalent. Apart from meeting academic requirements, you must be in at least fairly good physical condition, able to stand for extended periods with the ability to routinely lift weights of fifty pounds or more, as is it typically necessary to position patients and move heavy machines. Other helpful talents include technical proficiency, the ability to stay levelheaded when confronted by an anxious or angry patient and the ability to converse clearly and compassionately. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Diagnostic Medical Sonography Programs. However, as we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are looking at. This holds true whether you choose an online program or commute to the college campus to attend classes. And by asking the appropriate questions so that you can evaluate each college, you will be able to narrow down your options until you are left with the best school for your education. And with the proper training, discipline and motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as an ultrasound tech in Whittier AK.
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