How to Find the Right Ultrasound Technician Degree Program near Cordova Alaska
Now that you have decided to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Cordova AK, the next step is to begin the process of picking a college. First, you must find the right program that will provide the necessary training to become a skilled professional. And because some states do mandate that ultrasound techs 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 research each college so that you can evaluate and compare your options. But just where does one begin? Most prospective students will start by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Certainly cost and location must be considered when making a decision, but there are other significant factors also. Such as, if the ultrasound technician schools have earned accreditation or if they offer internships. These and additional qualifications will be discussed more in detail later in this article. But to start with, let’s discuss what an ultrasound tech does and the credentials and online training options that are available.
Ultrasound Technician Job Description
There are several acceptable 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 basic job function, which is to implement diagnostic ultrasound testing on patients. Even though many practice as generalists there are specializations within the profession, for instance in cardiology and pediatrics. Most practice in Cordova AK clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Routine daily work functions of an ultrasound tech may involve:
- Maintaining records of patient case histories and specifics of each procedure
- Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
- Preparing the ultrasound machines for usage and then cleaning and recalibrating them
- Escorting patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
- Utilizing equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
- Reviewing the results and determining necessity for further testing
Ultrasound techs must frequently evaluate the safety and performance of their machines. They also must adhere to a high ethical standard and code of conduct as health practitioners. In order to sustain that degree of professionalism and remain up to date with medical knowledge, they are mandated to enroll in continuing education courses on an ongoing basis.
Sonogram Tech Degree Programs Available
Sonogram tech students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will generally involve around 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finalize. Another option for those who have already received 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 sector, you can instead choose a certificate program that will require just 12 to 18 months to complete. Something to keep in mind is that almost all ultrasound technician schools do have a clinical training element as part of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by entering into an internship program which numerous schools organize through Cordova AK clinics and hospitals. When you have graduated from one of the certificate or degree programs, you will then have to comply with the certification or licensing requirements in Alaska or whichever state you elect to practice in.
Sonogram Tech Online Colleges
As aforementioned, virtually all sonogram tech colleges have a clinical component to their programs. So although you can earn a certificate or degree online, a significant portion of the training will be either carried out in an on-campus lab or at a sponsored off-campus facility. Clinical training can often be satisfied through an internship at a local Cordova AK hospital, outpatient clinic or family practice. However the remainder of the classes and training may be accessed online in your Cordova home. This is particularly beneficial for those individuals that keep working while getting their degrees. In addition online colleges are often less costly than on-campus alternatives. Expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But similarly as with every sonographer program you are considering, check that the online school you ultimately pick is accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is especially important for licensing, certification and job placement (more on accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to attend classes outside of the classroom in the comfort of your own home, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Sonogram Tech Programs
Once you have decided on which degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of reviewing and comparing sonogram tech schools. You will first probably want to decide whether you would rather access classes online or travel to a school campus in the Cordova AK area. Clearly location will be important if you select the latter, and the price of tuition no doubt will be an initial qualifier as well. But there are additional variables that you should also take into consideration, for example if the programs are accredited and if they offer internship programs. So in order to complete your due diligence so that you can arrive at your ultimate selection, following are some questions that you need ask each sonographer college prior to making a decision.
Are the Sonogram Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of sonogram technician colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among 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 a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Cordova AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the sonogram tech schools you are reviewing have associations with Cordova AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Cordova medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the sonographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Cordova AK home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing 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 a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the sonogram technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the ultrasound tech program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Cordova AK area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech Program near Cordova AK?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School near Cordova Alaska, following is some interesting background information about the location of your new school campus.
Cordova (/kɔːrˈdoʊvə, ˈkɔːrdəvə/) is a small town located near the mouth of the Copper River in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska, United States, at the head of Orca Inlet on the east side of Prince William Sound. The population was 2,239 at the 2010 census, down from 2,454 in 2000. Cordova was named Puerto Cordova by Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo in 1790. No roads connect Cordova to other Alaskan towns, so a plane or ferry is required to travel there. In the Exxon Valdez oil spill of March 1989, an oil tanker ran aground northwest of Cordova, heavily damaging ecology and fishing. It was cleaned up shortly after, but there are lingering effects, such as a lowered population of some birds.
In 1790 the inlet in front of the current Cordova townsite was named Puerto Cordova by Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo, after Spanish admiral Luis de Córdova y Córdova. The town of Cordova was named after it, although the inlet itself was later renamed the Orca Inlet. Cordova proper was founded as a result of the discovery of high-grade copper ore at Kennecott, north of Cordova. A group of surveyors from Valdez laid out a town site and Michael James Heney purchased half the land for the terminus of the Copper River and Northwestern Railway after determining that the neighboring town of Katalla was a poor harbor. Heney and his crew held a brief ceremony to organize the town on March 26, 1906. A week later crews arrived to begin work on the railroad. The first lots in the new town site, which make up the heart of present-day Cordova, were sold at auction in May 1908. As the railroad grew, so did the town. Eventually schools, businesses, a hospital, and utilities were established. After the railroad was completed Cordova became the transportation hub for the ore coming out of Kennecott. In the years 1911 to 1938, more than 200 million tons of copper ore was transported through Cordova.
The area around Cordova was historically home to the Eyak, with a population of Chugach to the west, and occasional visits from Ahtna and Tlingit people for trade or battle. The last full-blooded Eyak Marie Smith Jones died in 2008, but the native traditions and lifestyle still has an influence on the local culture. Cordova was also once the home of a booming razor clam industry, and between 1916 and the late 1950s it was known as the "Razor Clam Capital of the World". Commercial harvest in the area was as much as 3.5 million pounds. Returns began declining in the late 1950s, presumably due to overharvesting and a large die-off in 1958. The 1964 Good Friday earthquake effectively and completely obliterated the industry; in some areas, the ground was thrust up by as much as six feet, exposing the already depleted clam beds. There has been no commercial harvest in the area since 1988 with the exception of a brief harvest in 1993.
In March 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef northwest of Cordova causing one of the most devastating environmental disasters in North America. The Exxon Valdez oil spill severely affected the area's salmon and herring populations leading to a recession of the local fishing-reliant economy as well as disrupting the general ecology of the area. After many years of litigation, 450 million dollars were awarded for compensatory and punitive damages.
Find the Right Colleges That Have Ultrasound Programs Cordova AK
Picking the right sonographer certificate or degree program is a crucial first step to entering a rewarding new profession delivering diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech programs require that you have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition to meeting academic requirements, you must be in at least fairly good physical condition, capable of standing for lengthy durations and able to regularly lift weights of fifty pounds or more, as is it often necessary to position patients and move heavy machines. Other desirable skills include technical proficiency, the ability to remain levelheaded when faced with an anxious or angry patient and the ability to converse clearly and compassionately. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Colleges That Have Ultrasound Programs. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing. This holds true whether you choose an online degree or drive to the college campus to attend classes. And by asking the proper questions so that you can compare each program, you can narrow down your options until you are left with the best school for your education. And with the right training, discipline and determination to succeed, you can achieve your objective to practice as an ultrasound tech in Cordova AK.
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An associate’s degree is the generally accepted minimum to become an ultrasound technician (also known as a diagnostic medical sonographer or simply a sonographer). Because sonography uses ultrasound waves rather than ionizing radiation like other forms of RT, sonographers typically complete a major specifically in sonography.
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Ultrasound Technician - Ultrasound Schools Info
In 2020, the national median annual salary for an ultrasound technician was $75,920, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS adds that the bottom 10% of ultrasound technologists made up to $53,790 a year, whereas the top 10% made over $105,340. Salary and employment figures are based on a national average and may vary by location.
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Ultrasound technician programs include supervised hands-on training in workplaces where students learn how to use sonographic machines and hone their communication skills with patients. Most schools allow online enrollees to complete this requirement locally. See below for three common courses in ultrasound technician programs.
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The national average salary for an ultrasound technician is $1,517 per week or $78,884 per year. On the low end, technicians can make about $400 per week or $20,000 per year. Conversely, some of the highest-paid technicians make $3,200 per week or $166,400 per year.
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Ultrasound Technician Schools Online Bachelor’s Degrees. Believe it or not, you can find quality options for ultrasound technician schools online that offer bachelor’s degrees. Many of these are colleges and universities that also offer campus-based programs as well. However, the requirements can be a bit different than pursuing your ...
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