How to Enroll in the Right Ultrasound Tech Degree Program near Silver Spring Maryland
Now that you have decided to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Silver Spring MD, it’s time to start the procedure of picking a college. First, you need to find the right program that will provide the proper training to become a qualified professional. And given that some states do require that ultrasound techs be either licensed or certified, depending on where you will practice you may also need preparation to pass a licensing or certification examination. So it’s extremely important that you research each school so that you can evaluate and compare your options. But exactly where does one start? Many students will start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Of course location and cost must be taken into account when arriving at a decision, but there are additional significant factors as well. For example, if the ultrasound technician schools have earned accreditation or if they sponsor internships. These and other qualifications will be discussed more in detail later in this post. But first, let’s go over what an ultrasound tech does and the credentials and online training programs that are offered.
Ultrasound Technician Work Summary
There are multiple acceptable titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also referred to as sonogram techs, diagnostic medical sonographers (or just sonographers) and ultrasound technologists. No matter what their title is, they all have the same primary job description, which is to carry out diagnostic ultrasound procedures on patients. Although many work as generalists there are specializations within the profession, for example in pediatrics and cardiology. Most work in Silver Spring MD clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Typical daily work duties of a sonogram tech may consist of:
- Maintaining records of patient case histories and specifics of each procedure
- Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
- Preparing the ultrasound machines for usage and then sterilizing and recalibrating them
- Transferring patients to treatment rooms and ensuring their comfort
- Utilizing equipment while minimizing patient exposure to sound waves
- Assessing results and determining need for additional testing
Ultrasound techs must frequently gauge the performance and safety of their equipment. They also must adhere to a high ethical standard and code of conduct as health practitioners. So as to maintain that level of professionalism and remain up to date with medical knowledge, they are mandated to complete continuing education training on a regular basis.
Ultrasound Technician Degrees Available
Ultrasound technician students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will generally involve about 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will require more time at as long as four years to finalize. Another option for individuals who have previously obtained 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 instead choose a certificate program that will require just 12 to 18 months to complete. One thing to keep in mind is that almost all sonographer colleges do have a practical training element as part of their course of study. It often may be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many schools organize through Silver Spring MD clinics and hospitals. Once you have graduated from one of the certificate or degree programs, you will then need to comply with the certification or licensing prerequisites in Maryland or whichever state you choose to practice in.
Ultrasound Technician Online Schools
As aforementioned, nearly all sonogram tech colleges have a practical component to their programs. So although you can receive a certificate or degree online, a significant part of the training will be either carried out in an on campus laboratory or at a sponsored off-campus facility. Clinical training can typically be fulfilled through an internship at a local Silver Spring MD hospital, outpatient clinic or private practice. However the remainder of the classes and training can be accessed online in your Silver Spring home. This is especially beneficial for those students that continue working while getting their degrees. Plus online schools are many times less costly than traditional options. Expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But similarly as with any sonographer program you are considering, verify 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 especially crucial for licensing, certification and job placement (more on accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn outside of the classroom in the convenience of your own home, then an online school could be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Ultrasound Technician Colleges
Now that you have decided on which degree or certificate that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing and comparing sonogram technician colleges. You may first want to decide whether you will access classes online or commute to a college campus in the Silver Spring MD area. Clearly location will be critical if you choose the latter, and the cost of tuition no doubt will be an initial qualifier also. But there are additional things that you must also take into consideration, for instance if the colleges are accredited and if they offer internships. So in order to complete your due diligence so that you can make your ultimate selection, following are several questions that you need ask each sonographer school before deciding.
Are the Ultrasound Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of ultrasound technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still important to confirm 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). Programs earning accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone a detailed assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Silver Spring MD employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the ultrasound tech colleges you are evaluating have associations with Silver Spring MD clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Silver Spring health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? 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 ultrasound tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Maryland healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Silver Spring MD home. Students who have decided to attend online classes 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might 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 don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are researching 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 students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the sonogram tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the sonographer program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Silver Spring MD area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech Program near Silver Spring MD?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School near Silver Spring Maryland, following is some interesting background information about the location of your new school campus.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Silver Spring is an unincorporated community and census-designated place located inside the Capital Beltway in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. It had a population of 76,716 according to 2013 estimates by the United States Census Bureau, making it the fourth most populous place in Maryland, after Baltimore, Columbia, and Germantown, and the second largest in Montgomery County after Germantown. Inner Silver Spring consists of the following neighborhoods: Downtown Silver Spring, East Silver Spring, Woodside, North Woodside, Woodside Park, North Hills Sligo Park, Long Branch, Montgomery Knolls, Franklin Knolls, Indian Spring Terrace, Indian Spring Village, Clifton Park Village, New Hampshire Estates, Oakview, and Woodmoor. Outer Silver Spring consist of the following neighborhoods: Four Corners, Wheaton, Glenmont, Forest Glen, Aspen Hill, Hillandale, White Oak, Colesville, Colesville Park, Cloverly, Calverton, Briggs Chaney, Greencastle, Northwood Park, Sunset Terrace, Fairland, Lyttonsville, and Kemp Mill.
The urbanized, oldest, and southernmost part of Silver Spring is a major business hub that lies at the north apex of Washington, D.C. As of 2004, the Central Business District (CBD) held 7,254,729 square feet (673,986 m2) of office space, 5216 dwelling units and 17.6 acres (71,000 m2) of parkland. The population density of this CBD area of Silver Spring was 15,600 per square mile all within 360 acres (1.5 km2) and approximately 2.5 square miles (6 km2) in the CBD/downtown area. The community has recently undergone a significant renaissance, with the addition of major retail, residential, and office developments.
Silver Spring takes its name from a mica-flecked spring discovered there in 1840 by Francis Preston Blair, who subsequently bought much of the surrounding land. Acorn Park, tucked away in an area of south Silver Spring away from the main downtown area, is believed to be the site of the original spring.
As an unincorporated area, Silver Spring's boundaries are not officially defined. As of the 2010 Census the United States Census Bureau defines Silver Spring as a census-designated place with a total area of 7.92 square miles (20.5 km2), all land; however, it does contain numerous creeks and small lakes. This definition is a 15% reduction from the 9.4 square miles (24 km2) used in previous years. The United States Geological Survey locates the center of Silver Spring at 38°59′26″N 77°1′35″W / 38.99056°N 77.02639°W / 38.99056; -77.02639, notably some distance from the Census Bureau's datum. By another definition, Silver Spring is located at 39°0′15″N 77°1′8″W / 39.00417°N 77.01889°W / 39.00417; -77.01889 (39.004242, −77.019004). The definitions used by the Silver Spring Urban Planning District, the United States Postal Service, the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce, etc., are all different, each defining it for its own purposes.
Find the Right Ultrasound Technologist Program Silver Spring MD
Enrolling in the ideal sonographer certificate or degree program is a vital first step to starting a gratifying new profession delivering diagnostic services to patients. Sonographer schools require that you have a high school diploma or a GED. In addition to meeting academic requirements, you must be in at least reasonably good physical health, capable of standing for extended durations with the ability to routinely lift weights of fifty pounds or more, as is it often necessary to position patients and maneuver heavy machinery. Other beneficial skills include technical aptitude, the ability to remain levelheaded when confronted by 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 Technologist Program. However, as we have discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are considering. This holds true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to the college campus to attend classes. And by asking the proper questions so that you can assess each school, you can narrow down your options until you are left with the ideal school for your education. And with the proper training, discipline and motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as an sonographer in Silver Spring MD.
Other Ultrasound Locations in Maryland
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