How to Pick the Right Ultrasound Technician College near Prattville Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Prattville AL, it’s time to start the procedure of selecting a college. To begin with, you need to find the ideal program that will provide the proper education to become a skilled professional. And because a number of states do require that ultrasound techs be either certified or licensed, depending on where you will practice you may also need to be prepared to pass a certification or licensing exam. So it’s very important that you investigate each college in order to evaluate and compare your alternatives. But just where does one start? Many individuals will start by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Of course cost and location need to be considered when arriving at a decision, but there are other important factors as well. For instance, if the ultrasound technician schools have earned accreditation or if they provide internships. These and other qualifications will be discussed more in detail later in this article. But first, let’s go over what a sonogram tech does and the credentials and online education options that are available.
Ultrasound Tech Occupation Description
There are more than one 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 primary job description, which is to perform diagnostic ultrasound procedures on patients. While a number of techs practice as generalists there are specializations within the field, for instance in cardiology and pediatrics. The majority work in Prattville AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Common daily work tasks of a sonogram tech can consist of:
- Maintaining records of patient case histories and details of each procedure
- Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
- Readying the ultrasound machines for use and then cleaning and recalibrating them
- Moving patients to treatment rooms and ensuring their comfort
- Utilizing equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
- Evaluating results and determining necessity for supplemental testing
Sonographers must routinely gauge the safety and performance of their equipment. They also must adhere to a high ethical standard and code of conduct as medical practitioners. In order to sustain that level of professionalism and stay current with medical knowledge, they are mandated to enroll in continuing education training on an ongoing basis.
Ultrasound Tech Degree Programs Offered
Sonogram tech students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will normally take about 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete. Another option for individuals who have already 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 relevant medical sector, you can instead choose a certificate program that will require just 12 to 18 months to complete. Something to bear in mind 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 satisfied by taking part in an internship program which numerous colleges set up through Prattville AL hospitals and clinics. When you have graduated from one of the degree or certificate programs, you will then have to comply with the licensing or certification prerequisites in Alabama or whatever state you decide to work in.
Online Ultrasound Tech Colleges
As previously mentioned, nearly all ultrasound tech colleges have a clinical requirement to their programs. So while you can earn a certificate or degree online, a substantial part of the training will be either carried out in an on campus laboratory or at an approved off campus facility. Clinical training can often be fulfilled through an internship at a local Prattville AL outpatient clinic, hospital or family practice. But the remainder of the classes and training can be accessed online in your Prattville home. This is especially beneficial for those students that continue working while earning their degrees. Plus online schools are often less costly than on campus options. Expenses for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just as with every ultrasound tech program you are considering, make sure that the online school you ultimately pick is accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is particularly crucial for certification, licensing and finding employment (more on accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn outside of the classroom in the comfort of your own home, then online classes could be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Ultrasound Technician Colleges
When you have determined the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the procedure of assessing and comparing ultrasound tech schools. You will first probably want to decide whether you would rather access classes online or commute to a school campus in the Prattville AL area. Obviously location will be critical if you select the latter, and the cost of tuition undoubtedly will be an initial qualifier also. But there are other things that you must also take into consideration, for example if the programs are accredited and if they sponsor internships. 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 sonographer school prior to making a decision.
Are the Sonogram Technician Colleges Accredited? Most ultrasound tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still important to make sure that the school and program 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). Programs earning accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone a detailed review of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Prattville AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the ultrasound tech schools you are assessing have partnerships with Prattville AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Prattville healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the ultrasound tech schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Prattville AL home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider 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 often 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 are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the sonogram tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the ultrasound tech program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Prattville AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech Program near Prattville AL?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School near Prattville Alabama, following is some interesting background information about the location of your new school campus.
Prattville is a city in Autauga and Elmore counties in the State of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 33,960. Nicknamed "The Fountain City" due to the many artesian wells in the area, Prattville is part of the Montgomery metropolitan statistical area and serves as the county seat of Autauga County.
Prattville was founded in 1839 by industrialist and architect Daniel Pratt. The area was largely inhabited by Native Americans and a few settlers when Pratt, a native of Temple, New Hampshire, first observed the Autauga Creek in the 1830s. He purchased approximately 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) from Joseph May at $21.00 an acre, and set out to build his manufacturing facilities and the town along the banks of Autauga Creek. The location was chosen because the creek could supply power to the cotton gin manufacturing equipment. The town became an industrial center and rapidly grew. In 1868, it was named the county seat for Autauga County.
On February 17, 2008, Prattville was hit by an F3 tornado which destroyed more than 45 homes and businesses and damaged over 700. Twenty-nine people were injured with no fatalities. Preliminary estimates put the damage at $85 million in insured and uninsured damages.
Prattville is located at Coordinates: 32°27′44″N 86°27′41″W / 32.462235°N 86.461264°W / 32.462235; -86.461264 (32.462235, -86.461264). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 33.8 square miles (88 km2) of which 32.9 square miles (85 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) (3.09%) is water. The city is located northwest of Montgomery and along Interstate 65 and U.S. Route 82. I-65 runs north to south east of downtown, with access from exits 179 and 181, both in the Elmore County portion of the city. I-65 leads southeast 14 mi (23 km) to downtown Montgomery and north 82 mi (132 km) to Birmingham. US 82 runs south with I-65 to downtown Montgomery, and northwest 89 mi (143 km) to Tuscaloosa.
Find the Right Associate Degree In Ultrasound Technology Prattville AL
Selecting the ideal ultrasound technician degree or certificate program is a vital first step to embarking on a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech colleges require that you have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Along with satisfying academic requirements, you need to be in at least fairly good physical condition, capable of standing for lengthy periods with the ability to regularly lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it typically necessary to position patients and maneuver heavy machines. Other desirable skills include technical aptitude, the ability to stay collected when confronted by an anxious or angry patient and the ability to communicate in a clear and compassionate manner. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Associate Degree In Ultrasound Technology. However, as we have covered in this post, there are multiple questions that you should ask each program you are looking at. This holds true whether you select an online program or commute to the college campus to attend classes. And by asking the proper questions so that you can compare each school, you can narrow down your options until you are left with the best program for your education. And with the right training, dedication and determination to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as an ultrasound technologist in Prattville AL.
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