How to Pick the Right Ultrasound Tech Degree Program near Decatur Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Decatur GA, the next step is to start the procedure of picking a college. To begin with, you must find the ideal program that will provide the appropriate instruction to become a qualified professional. And given that a number of states do mandate that ultrasound techs be either licensed or certified, depending on where you will practice you may also need to be prepared to pass a licensing or certification exam. So it’s very important that you investigate each college so that you can assess and compare your alternatives. But just where does one begin? A number of prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are within travelling distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Naturally location and cost must be considered when arriving at a decision, but there are additional critical factors also. For example, if the ultrasound technician schools have earned accreditation or if they sponsor internships. These and other qualifications will be discussed more in depth later in this post. But to start with, let’s review what an ultrasound tech does and the degrees and online education options that are offered.
Sonographer Occupation Description
There are various 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 basic job description, which is to carry out diagnostic ultrasound techniques on patients. Although a number of techs practice as generalists there are specializations within the field, for instance in pediatrics and cardiology. Most practice in Decatur GA hospitals, clinics, outpatient diagnostic imaging centers and even private practices. Routine daily work tasks of an ultrasound tech may include:
- Maintaining records of patient case histories and details of each procedure
- Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
- Preparing the ultrasound machines for testing and then sterilizing and recalibrating them
- Escorting patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
- Using equipment while minimizing patient exposure to sound waves
- Assessing results and identifying necessity for additional testing
Sonographers must regularly gauge the performance and safety of their machines. They also must adhere to a high ethical standard and code of conduct as medical practitioners. So as to maintain that degree of professionalism and remain current with medical knowledge, they are required to enroll in continuing education courses on an ongoing basis.
Ultrasound Tech Degrees Available
Sonogram tech enrollees have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will normally take around 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will require more time at up to 4 years to finish. Another option for those who have already received a college degree is a post graduate certificate program. If you have received a Bachelor’s Degree in any major or an Associate Degree in a relevant medical field, you can enroll in a certificate program that will take just 12 to 18 months to finish. Something to keep in mind is that most ultrasound technician programs do have a clinical training component as a portion of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by entering into an internship program which numerous schools sponsor through Decatur GA clinics and hospitals. Once you have graduated from one of the certificate or degree programs, you will then need to satisfy the certification or licensing prerequisites in Georgia or whichever state you elect to work in.
Sonogram Tech Online Schools
As aforementioned, almost all ultrasound technician schools have a clinical component to their programs. So although you can earn a degree or certificate online, a significant portion of the training will be either carried out in an on campus lab or at an approved off-campus facility. Practical training can typically be fulfilled through an internship at a local Decatur GA outpatient clinic, hospital or family practice. But the balance of the classes and training may be attended online in your Decatur home. This is especially beneficial for those individuals that keep working while earning their degrees. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than on campus alternatives. Costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But similarly as with any sonography college you are looking at, check that the online school you enroll in is accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is especially important for certification, licensing and job placement (more on accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to attend classes away from the classroom in the comfort of your own home, then an online school could be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Sonogram Tech Colleges
Now that you have decided on which degree or certificate that you would like to earn, you can initiate the procedure of assessing and comparing sonogram technician colleges. You will first probably want to decide whether you will access classes online or travel to a school campus in the Decatur GA area. Naturally location will be important if you choose the latter, and the cost of tuition undoubtedly will be an initial qualification as well. But there are other factors that you must also take into consideration, for instance if the schools are accredited and if they provide internships. Therefore in order to complete your due diligence so that you can make your ultimate selection, below are several questions that you need ask each ultrasound tech school prior to making a decision.
Are the Ultrasound Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of ultrasound technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still crucial to confirm 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 earning accreditation from the JRC-DMS have gone through a rigorous examination of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Decatur GA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the sonogram tech programs you are evaluating have associations with Decatur GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Decatur medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the ultrasound tech schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Georgia healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Decatur GA residence. 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 area internships will be of concern. Something to keep 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the sonogram tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the sonographer school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Decatur GA area, make certain 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 carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech Program near Decatur GA?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School near Decatur Georgia, following is some interesting background information about the location of your new school campus.
Decatur is a city in, and the county seat of, DeKalb County, Georgia that is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. With a population of 20,148 in the 2013 census, the municipality is sometimes assumed to be larger since multiple ZIP Codes in unincorporated DeKalb County bear the Decatur name. The city is served by three MARTA rail stations. The city is located approximately 5 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta and shares its western border with Atlanta.
Decatur was established at the intersection of two Native American trails: the Sandtown, which led east from the Chattahoochee River at Utoy Creek, and the Shallowford, which follows today's Clairmont Road, and eventually crossed near Roswell. It was named for United States Navy Commodore Stephen Decatur.
During the American Civil War, Decatur became a strategic site in Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. In July 1864, Major-General James McPherson occupied the town to cut off the Confederates' supply line from Augusta. On July 22, during the Battle of Atlanta, Confederate cavalry under Major-General Joseph Wheeler attacked McPherson's supply wagons and the Union troops left to defend the wagons. A historical marker at the old courthouse marks the site of this skirmish.
In the last half of the twentieth century the metropolitan area of Atlanta expanded into unincorporated DeKalb County, eventually surrounding two sides of the town of Decatur. Concurrently many well-to-do and middle class white Americans fled the area to more distant suburbs. The 1960s and 1970s witnessed dramatic drops in property values. However, more recently the city has regained economic vigor, partially thanks to several long-term downtown development plans that have come to fruition, making Decatur a trendy small mixed-use district with easy transit to downtown Atlanta. Over the past twenty years, it has gained a local and national reputation as a progressive city with a high level of citizen involvement that retains a small town feel despite its proximity to Atlanta.
Find the Right Ultrasound Tech Programs Near Me Decatur GA
Choosing the right ultrasound technician degree or certificate program is an important first step to embarking on a fulfilling new career delivering diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech programs require that you have earned a high school diploma or a GED. Along with satisfying academic standards, you must be in at least reasonably good physical condition, capable of standing for prolonged durations and able to regularly lift weights of fifty pounds or more, as is it frequently necessary to adjust patients and move heavy machinery. Other desirable skills include technical proficiency, the ability to keep collected 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 Ultrasound Tech Programs Near Me. However, as we have discussed in this post, there are multiple questions that you should ask each college you are looking at. This is true whether you select an online program or drive to the college campus to attend classes. And by asking the right questions so that you can compare each program, you can narrow down your alternatives 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 goal to work as an ultrasound tech in Decatur GA.
Other Ultrasound Locations in Georgia
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