How to Choose the Right Ultrasound Technician College near Stratton Maine
Now that you have made a decision to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Stratton ME, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. First, you must find the right program that will furnish the necessary instruction to become a qualified professional. And since a number of states do require that sonographers be either licensed or certified, 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 assess and compare your alternatives. But just where does one begin? Many individuals will start by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes and then by comparing tuition. Of course location and cost need to be taken into account when making a decision, but there are other important factors as well. For instance, if the ultrasound technician schools are accredited or if they offer internship programs. These and other qualifiers will be addressed more in detail later in this post. But to start with, let’s review what a sonogram tech does and the degrees and online training options that are offered.
Sonogram Tech Job Summary
There are more than one professional titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also called 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 testing on patients. While many work as generalists there are specialties within the field, for example in cardiology and pediatrics. Most practice in Stratton ME hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Standard daily work duties of an ultrasound technician can include:
- Maintaining records of patient case histories and details of each procedure
- Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
- Prepping the ultrasound machines for use and then sterilizing and recalibrating them
- Escorting 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
Ultrasound techs must routinely evaluate the performance and safety of their machines. They also must adhere to a high professional standard and code of conduct as health practitioners. In order to maintain that level of professionalism and stay up to date with medical knowledge, they are mandated to enroll in continuing education programs on an ongoing basis.
Sonogram Technician Degrees Offered
Sonogram tech enrollees have the option to acquire either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will typically require around 18 months to 2 years to accomplish dependent on the program and class load. A Bachelor’s Degree will require more time at as long as four years to finish. Another alternative for individuals who have previously obtained 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 only 12 to 18 months to complete. Something to consider is that most sonographer schools do have a clinical training element as part of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship program which many colleges set up through Stratton ME clinics and hospitals. Once you have graduated from one of the degree or certificate programs, you will then need to fulfill the licensing or certification prerequisites in Maine or whichever state you elect to practice in.
Online Ultrasound Technician Classes
As previously mentioned, almost all ultrasound technician colleges have a clinical requirement to their programs. So while you can earn a degree or certificate online, a substantial part of the training will be either held in an on campus laboratory or at an approved off campus facility. Practical training can usually be fulfilled through an internship at a local Stratton ME outpatient clinic, hospital or private practice. However the balance of the training and classes can be accessed online in your Stratton home. This is especially convenient for those individuals that continue working while getting their degrees. In addition online colleges are often more affordable than on campus alternatives. Costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But similarly as with every sonography program you are looking at, make sure that the online program you select is accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is particularly significant for licensing, certification and finding employment (more on accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn outside of the classroom in the comfort of your own home, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Ultrasound Tech Colleges
When you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the procedure of evaluating and comparing sonogram tech schools. You may first want to decide whether you would rather access classes online or commute to a college campus in the Stratton ME area. Of course location will be significant if you select the latter, and the cost of tuition no doubt will be an initial qualifier as well. But there are other factors that you should also take into consideration, for example if the programs are accredited and if they provide internships. Therefore in order to perform your due diligence so that you can arrive at your ultimate selection, below are some questions that you need ask each sonography program prior to making a decision.
Are the Ultrasound Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of ultrasound technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still crucial to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of sonography is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Stratton ME health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the sonogram tech schools you are interested in have associations with Stratton ME hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Stratton medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the sonographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Maine healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Stratton ME home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost 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 schools you are looking at 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the sonogram tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the sonographer program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Stratton ME area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn 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 Stratton ME?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School near Stratton Maine, following is some interesting background information about the location of your new school campus.
General Tom Thumb
Charles Sherwood Stratton (January 4, 1838 – July 15, 1883), better known by his stage name "General Tom Thumb", was a dwarf who achieved great fame as a performer under circus pioneer P.T. Barnum.
Stratton was the son of a Bridgeport, Connecticut, carpenter named Sherwood Edward Stratton, son of Seth Sherwood Stratton and Amy Sharpe. Sherwood married his first cousin Cynthia Thompson, daughter of Joseph Thompson and Mary Ann Sharpe. Charles Stratton's maternal and paternal grandmothers, Amy and Mary Ann Sharpe, were stated to be small twin girls born on July 11, 1781/83 in Oxford, New Haven, Connecticut.
Born in Bridgeport to parents who were of medium height, Charles was a relatively large baby, weighing 9 pounds 8 ounces (4.3 kg) at birth. He developed and grew normally for the first six months of his life, at which point he was 25 inches (64 cm) tall and weighed 15 pounds (6.8 kg). Then he suddenly stopped growing. His parents became concerned when, after his first birthday, they noticed he had not grown at all in the previous six months. They showed him to their doctor, who said there was little chance Charles would ever reach normal height.
Phineas T. Barnum, a distant relative (half fifth cousin, twice removed), heard about Stratton and after contacting his parents, taught the boy how to sing, dance, mime, and impersonate famous people. Barnum also went into business with Stratton's father, who died in 1855. Stratton made his first tour of America at the age of five, with routines that included impersonating characters such as Cupid and Napoleon Bonaparte as well as singing, dancing and comical banter with another performer who acted as a straight man. It was a huge success and the tour expanded.
Find the Right Ultrasound Courses Stratton ME
Selecting the ideal sonographer certificate or degree program is a crucial first step to starting a rewarding new career delivering diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech programs require that you have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Apart from meeting academic standards, you need to be in at least reasonably good physical health, capable of standing for lengthy periods and able to regularly lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it frequently necessary to position patients and move heavy equipment. Other desirable talents include technical aptitude, 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 Ultrasound Courses. However, as we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at. This is the case whether you select an online program or drive 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 ideal program for your education. And with the right training, dedication and determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as an ultrasound tech in Stratton ME.
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