How to Become a Sonographer | Ultrasound Tech Schools Prescott Valley AZ

Selecting an Ultrasound Technician Training Program Prescott Valley Arizona

Prescott Valley AZ ultrasound tech with female patientNow that you have made a decision to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Prescott Valley AZ, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. To begin with, you must find the right program that will provide the appropriate instruction to become a qualified professional. And since some states do require that sonographers be either certified or licensed, depending on where you will practice you may also need to be prepared to pass a certification or licensing examination. So it’s extremely important that you investigate each college in order to evaluate and compare your choices. But exactly where does one begin? Most individuals will begin by looking for schools that are within travelling distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Of course location and cost must be considered when arriving at a decision, but there are additional significant factors as well. Such as, if the ultrasound technician schools have earned accreditation or if they sponsor internship programs. These and other qualifiers will be addressed more in detail later in this post. But to start with, let’s go over what a sonogram tech does and the degrees and online education programs that are available.

Ultrasound Technician Job Description

ultrasound equipment in Prescott Valley AZThere are several acceptable 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. Although a number of techs practice as generalists there are specializations within the profession, for instance in cardiology and pediatrics. The majority work in Prescott Valley AZ clinics, hospitals, outpatient diagnostic imaging centers and even private practices. Routine daily work tasks of a sonogram technician may include:

  • Keeping records of patient case histories and details of each procedure
  • Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
  • Readying the ultrasound machines for testing and then cleaning and re-calibrating them
  • Escorting patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
  • Using equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
  • Evaluating results and determining need for supplemental testing

Sonographers must regularly evaluate the safety and performance of their equipment. They also are held to a high ethical standard and code of conduct as medical practitioners. So as to maintain that degree of professionalism and remain up to date with medical knowledge, they are mandated to enroll in continuing education training on a regular basis.

Ultrasound Technician Degree Programs Available

Sonogram tech students have the choice to acquire 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 take longer at up to 4 years to finish. Another option for individuals who have already earned 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 related 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 almost all sonographer programs 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 set up with Prescott Valley AZ hospitals and clinics. When you have graduated from any of the degree or certificate programs, you will then need to fulfill the licensing or certification prerequisites in Arizona or whichever state you elect to practice in.

Questions to Ask Sonogram Tech Schools

Prescott Valley AZ sonographer with pregnant womanWhen you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the procedure of assessing and comparing sonogram tech colleges. You will first probably want to decide whether you will attend classes online or travel to a school campus in the Prescott Valley AZ area. Certainly location will be important if you select the latter, and the cost of tuition undoubtedly will be an initial qualifier also. But there are additional things that you should also take into account, for instance if the programs are accredited and if they provide internships. So in order to perform your due diligence so that you can arrive at your ultimate selection, below are several questions that you may want to ask each ultrasound tech school prior to making a decision.

Are the Ultrasound Tech Programs Accredited? Most sonogram tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected 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 gone through a detailed assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the program 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 guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Prescott Valley AZ employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the ultrasound technician colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Prescott Valley AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Prescott Valley healthcare community and assist with job placement.

Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the ultrasound tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Prescott Valley AZ residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the ultrasound tech program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the ultrasound tech  college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Prescott Valley AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Ultrasound Technician Online Schools

woman attending ultrasound technician school online in Prescott Valley AZAs earlier discussed, nearly all ultrasound tech schools have a clinical requirement to their programs. So while you can obtain a certificate or degree online, a substantial part of the training will be either held in an on campus laboratory or at an approved off-campus facility. Clinical training can often be fulfilled by means of an internship at a local Prescott Valley AZ hospital, outpatient clinic or family practice. But the balance of the training and classes can be attended online in your Prescott Valley home. This is especially beneficial for those individuals that keep working while earning their degrees. Plus online schools are many times more affordable than on campus options. Expenditures for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just as with any sonography school you are looking at, check that the online program you enroll in is accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is especially crucial for certification, licensing and finding employment (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 degree could be the right option for you.

Considering Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech School near Prescott Valley AZ?

If you are considering a Sonography Tech School in the Prescott Valley Arizona area, following is some interesting history and background information about the location of your new school campus.

Prescott Valley, Arizona

Prescott Valley is a town with a current population (October 2016) of about 45,500 residents. It is located in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States, about 8 miles east of Prescott, which it has surpassed in growth. Prescott Valley was the seventh fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona between 1990 and 2000.

Prescott Valley (locally, PV) is located in central Arizona approximately 85 miles (137 km) north of Phoenix at 5,100 feet (1,600 m). elevation. PV has good access to Arizona State Route 89, SR-89A and SR-69, connecting to Interstates 17 and 40. Air service is available at Ernest A. Love Field, about 8 miles (13 km) northwest.

One of PV’s landmarks, Glassford Hill (elevation 6,177 feet (1,883 m)) was once an active volcano between 10 and 14 million years ago.[4] Colonel William A. Glassford traveled the area in the 1880s and helped build a system of 27 heliograph stations to monitor the movements of Apache Indians, U.S. military troops and civilians. Glassford Hill was a part of that early communications system.[5]

Find the Right Sonographer Program Prescott Valley AZ

Choosing the right sonographer degree or certificate program is a vital first step to starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic services to patients. Sonographer programs require that you have earned a high school diploma or a GED. In addition to meeting academic requirements, you must be in at least fairly good physical condition, able to stand for lengthy time frames and able to regularly lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it frequently necessary to adjust patients and maneuver heavy equipment. Other desirable skills include technical aptitude, the ability to stay levelheaded when confronted by an anxious or angry patient and the ability to converse clearly and compassionately. As we have covered in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are looking at. This is the case whether you select an online program or travel to the school campus to attend classes. And by asking the appropriate questions so that you can evaluate each college, you will be able to narrow down your options until you are left with the best school for your education. And with the proper training, dedication and motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as an ultrasound technologist in Prescott Valley AZ.

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