How to Pick the Right Ultrasound Tech School near Granada Hills California
Now that you have made a decision to obtain an ultrasound technician degree near Granada Hills CA, the next step is to start the process of picking a college. First, you have to find the ideal program that will provide the proper training to become a qualified professional. And because some states do require that sonographers be either licensed or certified, depending on your residence you may also need preparation to pass a licensing or certification exam. So it’s extremely important that you research each program so that you can assess and compare your alternatives. But just where does one begin? Most potential students will start by searching for schools that are within travelling distance of their homes and then by comparing tuition. Naturally location and cost must be considered when making a decision, but there are additional critical factors also. For example, if the ultrasound technician schools have earned accreditation or if they provide internships. These and other qualifiers will be covered more in detail later in this article. But to start with, let’s discuss what an ultrasound tech does and the degrees and online training programs that are offered.
Ultrasound Tech Job Description
There are several professional titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also called sonogram techs, diagnostic medical sonographers (or just sonographers) and ultrasound technologists. No matter what their title is, they all have the same primary job function, which is to carry out diagnostic ultrasound procedures on patients. Even though a number of techs work as generalists there are specializations within the field, for instance in pediatrics and cardiology. The majority work in Granada Hills CA hospitals, clinics, outpatient diagnostic imaging centers and even private practices. Standard daily job tasks of an ultrasound tech can consist of:
- Maintaining records of patient medical histories and details of each procedure
- Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
- Prepping the ultrasound machines for testing and then sterilizing and re-calibrating them
- Moving patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
- Using equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
- Reviewing the results and identifying need for further testing
Ultrasound techs must regularly gauge the safety and performance of their machines. They also are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct as medical practitioners. So as to maintain that degree of professionalism and stay current with medical knowledge, they are mandated to enroll in continuing education courses on an ongoing basis.
Sonogram Technician Degree Programs Offered
Ultrasound technician students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will generally require about 18 months to 2 years to accomplish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will require more time at up to four years to finish. Another alternative for those who have previously 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 related medical sector, you can enroll in a certificate program that will take just 12 to 18 months to finish. Something to bear in mind is that the majority of ultrasound technician colleges do have a practical training element as part of their course of study. It often may be fulfilled by entering into an internship program which many schools sponsor with Granada Hills CA clinics and hospitals. When you have graduated from one of the certificate or degree programs, you will then need to fulfill the licensing or certification requirements in California or whichever state you choose to practice in.
Sonographer Online Colleges
As previously mentioned, nearly all sonogram tech schools have a clinical component to their programs. So although you can earn a certificate or degree online, a substantial part of the training will be either carried out in an on-campus lab or at an authorized off campus medical care provider. Practical training can often be fulfilled through an internship at a local Granada Hills CA outpatient clinic, hospital or private practice. But the remainder of the classes and training may be attended online in your Granada Hills home. This is especially convenient for those students that continue working while getting their degrees. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But similarly as with every sonography school you are looking at, verify 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 especially crucial for licensing, certification and job placement (more on accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to attend classes outside of the classroom in the comfort of your own home, then an online school could be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Ultrasound Technician Schools
After you have decided on which degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of reviewing and comparing ultrasound technician colleges. You will first probably want to choose whether you would rather access classes online or commute to a school campus in the Granada Hills CA area. Of course location will be significant if you choose the latter, and the price of tuition no doubt will be an initial qualification as well. But there are additional things that you should also take into account, for example if the schools are accredited and if they sponsor internships. Therefore in order to complete your due diligence so that you can make your ultimate selection, below are a few questions that you need ask each ultrasound tech program prior to making a decision.
Are the Ultrasound Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of ultrasound technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still important to verify that the program and school 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 earning accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone a detailed assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Granada Hills CA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the sonogram tech schools you are reviewing have relationships with Granada Hills CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Granada Hills health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the sonographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with California healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Granada Hills CA 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 area internships will be of concern. Something 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually 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 person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the ultrasound technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the ultrasound tech college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Granada Hills CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech Program near Granada Hills CA?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School near Granada Hills California, following is some interesting background information about the location of your new school campus.
Granada Hills, Los Angeles
The community began as dairy farm and orchard known as the Sunshine Ranch which grew apricots, oranges, walnuts and beans. Vestiges of former citrus groves can still be seen in orange, lemon or grapefruit trees in many residential yards. In 1916, the San Fernando Valley's first oil well was drilled in what is now Granada Hills. The oil well was located at the northern tip of Zelzah Avenue. Granada Hills was founded in 1926 as "Granada;" the "Hills" portion of the name was added 15 years later.
Granada Hills is located at the foothills of the Santa Susana Mountains, north of North Hills, Northridge, west of Mission Hills and Sylmar, and east of the Porter Ranch neighborhoods of Los Angeles. The Ronald Reagan Freeway–Route 118 runs through its southern area.
The 2000 U.S. census counted 50,535 residents in the 15.11-square neighborhood—or 3,344 people per square mile. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 53,998. In 2000 the median age for residents was 37,
The neighborhood is ethnically diverse and includes whites, 55.5%; Latinos, 20.6%; Asians, 16.3%; blacks, 3.4%; and others, 4.2%. Korea (16.0%) and Mexico (13.8%) were the most common places of birth for 29.2% of the residents who were born abroad.
Find the Right Accredited Diagnostic Medical Sonography Programs Granada Hills CA
Enrolling in the ideal sonographer degree or certificate program is a vital first step to commencing 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 meeting academic requirements, you should be in at least reasonably good physical health, capable of standing for prolonged time frames with the ability to regularly lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it typically necessary to position patients and move heavy machinery. Other preferred skills include technical proficiency, the ability to remain calm when confronted by an angry or anxious patient and the ability to communicate clearly and compassionately. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Accredited Diagnostic Medical Sonography Programs. However, as we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are considering. This is true whether you choose an online program or commute to the school campus to attend classes. And by asking the proper questions so that you can compare each program, you will be able to narrow down your options until you are left with the best program for your education. And with the proper training, discipline and determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as an sonographer in Granada Hills CA.
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