How to Select the Right Ultrasound Technician School near Florence Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Florence AL, it’s time to begin the procedure of selecting a college. To begin with, you need to find the right program that will provide the necessary training to become a qualified professional. And given that some states do mandate that ultrasound techs be either licensed or certified, depending on your residence you may also need to be prepared to pass a certification or licensing examination. So it’s very important that you investigate each program in order to evaluate and compare your choices. But exactly where does one begin? Many individuals will start by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Naturally location and cost must 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 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 Occupation Summary
There are more than one acceptable titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also called 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 perform diagnostic ultrasound techniques on patients. Although many practice as generalists there are specialties within the field, for example in pediatrics and cardiology. Most work in Florence AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Routine daily work tasks of a sonogram technician can involve:
- Maintaining records of patient case histories and specifics 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
- Escorting patients to treatment rooms and ensuring their comfort
- Using equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
- Evaluating results and identifying need for further testing
Sonographers must frequently gauge the performance and safety of their equipment. They also must adhere to a high ethical standard and code of conduct as medical practitioners. So as to sustain that level of professionalism and stay current with medical knowledge, they are required to enroll in continuing education training on an ongoing basis.
Sonogram Technician Degrees Offered
Sonogram technician enrollees have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will generally take about 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and class load. A Bachelor’s Degree will require more time at as long as four years to complete. Another alternative 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 relevant health sector, you can instead choose a certificate program that will take just 12 to 18 months to finish. One thing to keep in mind is that almost all sonographer schools do have a practical training element as a portion of their course of study. It often may be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges organize through Florence AL hospitals and clinics. When you have graduated from any of the degree or certificate programs, you will then need to satisfy the licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or whichever state you decide to work in.
Online Ultrasound Technician Schools
As earlier discussed, nearly all sonogram technician schools have a practical component to their programs. So although you can obtain a degree or certificate online, a significant portion of the training will be either conducted in an on-campus lab or at a sponsored off campus facility. Practical training can usually be satisfied through an internship at a local Florence AL outpatient clinic, hospital or family practice. But the rest of the training and classes can be accessed online in your Florence home. This is especially beneficial for those individuals that keep working while getting their degrees. Plus online programs are often less expensive than traditional alternatives. Expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But similarly as with any ultrasound tech school you are looking at, make sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is especially crucial for certification, licensing and job placement (more on accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn outside of the classroom in the convenience of your own home, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Sonography Schools
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of reviewing and comparing sonogram technician colleges. You may first want to decide whether you will attend classes online or travel to a school campus in the Florence AL area. Certainly location will be critical if you choose the latter, and the price of tuition undoubtedly will be an initial qualifier also. But there are other things that you must also take into account, such as if the schools are accredited and if they offer internship programs. So in order to carry out your due diligence so that you can arrive at your ultimate selection, following are a few questions that you need ask each ultrasound tech college prior to making a decision.
Are the Ultrasound Technician Schools Accredited? Most ultrasound tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to make sure 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 earning accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Florence AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the sonogram tech programs you are evaluating have associations with Florence AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Florence healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the ultrasound tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Florence AL residence. Students who have decided 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for 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 probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the sonogram technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the ultrasound tech program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Florence AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech Program near Florence AL?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School near Florence Alabama, following is some interesting background information about the location of your new school campus.
Florence is the largest and principal city of the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area (which includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia metropolitan areas in Colbert and Lauderdale counties). Florence is considered northwestern Alabama's primary economic hub.
Annual tourism events include the W. C. Handy Music Festival in the summer and the Renaissance Faire in the fall. Landmarks in Florence include the Rosenbaum House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home located in Alabama.
Florence and Lauderdale County had one hospital, Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital. ECM was a 358-bed facility owned by RCCH HealthCare Partners in Brentwood, Tennessee. In 2010 RCCH HealthCare Partners announced that they would build a new hospital in Florence. The hospital was completed in December 2018.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Florence has a total area of 25.0 square miles (65 km2), of which 24.9 square miles (64 km2) is land, and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.40%) is water. Florence is located on Wilson Lake and Pickwick Lake, bodies of water on the Tennessee River dammed by Pickwick Dam and Wilson Dams. Pickwick Lake was created by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), one of several alphabet agencies of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. Wilson Dam (currently operated by the TVA) was authorized by President Woodrow Wilson in 1918 and was the first dam constructed on the Tennessee River.
Find the Right Ultrasound Tech Certificate Programs Florence AL
Choosing the right sonographer certificate or degree program is an important first step to initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound technician colleges require that you have earned a high school diploma or a GED. Apart from meeting academic requirements, you should be in at least fairly good physical condition, capable of standing for lengthy time frames and able to routinely lift weights of fifty pounds or more, as is it frequently necessary to position patients and maneuver heavy machinery. Other helpful talents include technical aptitude, the ability to remain calm when faced with an anxious or angry patient and the ability to communicate clearly and compassionately. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Ultrasound Tech Certificate Programs. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering. This is true whether you select an online degree or commute to the school campus to attend classes. And by asking the proper questions so that you can compare each college, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives until you are left with the best school for your education. And with the right training, discipline and motivation to succeed, you can achieve your objective to practice as an ultrasound technologist in Florence AL.
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