How to Become a Sonographer | Ultrasound Tech Schools Scottsdale AZ

Choosing an Ultrasound Technician College Scottsdale Arizona

Scottsdale AZ ultrasound tech with female patientSince you have decided to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Scottsdale AZ, the next step is to begin the process of picking a college. First, you must find the ideal program that will furnish the proper education to become a qualified professional. And since a number of states do mandate that ultrasound techs be either certified or licensed, depending on your residence you may also need to be prepared to pass a licensing or certification exam. So it’s extremely important that you investigate each school in order to evaluate and compare your alternatives. But exactly where does one start? A number of individuals will begin by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their homes and then by comparing tuition. Certainly location and cost need to be considered when making a decision, but there are additional critical factors also. For example, if the ultrasound technician schools are accredited or if they provide internships. These and additional qualifiers will be addressed more in detail later in this article. But to start with, let’s review what an ultrasound tech does and the degrees and online education options that are offered.

Sonogram Tech Job Description

ultrasound equipment in Scottsdale AZThere are multiple professional titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also referred to as sonogram techs, diagnostic medical sonographers (or just sonographers) and ultrasound technologists. Regardless of name, they all have the same basic job function, which is to implement diagnostic ultrasound procedures on patients. Although many practice as generalists there are specializations within the field, for instance in cardiology and pediatrics. The majority practice in Scottsdale AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Typical daily work duties of a sonogram tech may consist of:

  • Preserving records of patient case histories and specifics of each procedure
  • Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
  • Readying the ultrasound machines for use and then sterilizing and re-calibrating them
  • Escorting patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
  • Operating equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
  • Assessing results and identifying necessity for supplemental testing

Ultrasound techs must frequently evaluate the safety and performance of their machines. They also must adhere to a high ethical standard and code of conduct as medical practitioners. In order to maintain that level of professionalism and remain current with medical knowledge, they are mandated to complete continuing education courses on an ongoing basis.

Sonogram Technician Degrees Offered

Sonogram technician students have the choice to acquire either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will typically require about 18 months to 2 years to accomplish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as long as 4 years to complete. Another alternative for individuals 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 relevant medical field, you can instead choose a certificate program that will take just 12 to 18 months to complete. Something to keep in mind is that almost all sonographer programs do have a practical training component as a portion of their curriculum. It often may be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which numerous colleges organize with Scottsdale AZ clinics and hospitals. Once you have graduated from one of the certificate or degree programs, you will then have to satisfy the licensing or certification prerequisites in Arizona or whichever state you decide to practice in.

Subjects to Ask Sonogram Tech Colleges

Scottsdale AZ sonographer with pregnant womanNow that you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, you can start the procedure of reviewing and comparing sonogram technician colleges. You will first probably want to choose whether you will access classes online or commute to a college campus in the Scottsdale AZ area. Obviously location will be important if you decide on the latter, and the price of tuition no doubt will be an initial qualification as well. But there are additional factors that you must also take into account, such as if the schools are accredited and if they offer internship programs. So in order to perform your due diligence so that you can make your final selection, below are a few questions that you may want to ask each ultrasound tech school prior to making a decision.

Are the Sonogram Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of ultrasound technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to make sure 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 rigorous examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Scottsdale AZ health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the ultrasound tech programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Scottsdale AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Scottsdale health care community and assist with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the sonographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Scottsdale AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the ultrasound tech program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the sonographer  program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Scottsdale AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Online Ultrasound Technician Colleges

woman attending ultrasound technician school online in Scottsdale AZAs previously mentioned, nearly all sonogram technician colleges have a practical component to their programs. So although you can earn a degree or certificate online, a substantial portion of the training will be either held in an on-campus lab or at an approved off campus medical care provider. Clinical training can usually be satisfied by means of an internship at a local Scottsdale AZ outpatient clinic, hospital or family practice. But the remainder of the classes and training can be attended online in your Scottsdale home. This is particularly beneficial for those students that keep working while earning their degrees. In addition online programs are frequently less costly than traditional options. Expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But similarly as with every sonography program you are looking at, verify that the online program you ultimately pick is accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is especially important 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 choice for you.

Considering Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech School near Scottsdale AZ?

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

Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale (O'odham: Vaṣai S-vaṣonĭ; Yaqui: Eskatel) is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, part of the Greater Phoenix Area. Named Scottsdale in 1894 after founder Winfield Scott and incorporated in 1951 with a population of 2,000, the 2015 population of the city is estimated to be 236,839 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.[5]The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as "a desert version of Miami's South Beach" and as having "plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene."[6] Its slogan is "The West's Most Western Town."[7]

Scottsdale, 31 miles long and 11.4 miles wide at its widest point, shares boundaries with many other municipalities and entities. On the west, Scottsdale is bordered by Phoenix, Paradise Valley and unincorporated Maricopa County land. Carefree is located along the western boundary, as well as sharing Scottsdale's northern boundary with the Tonto National Forest. To the south Scottsdale is bordered by Tempe. The southern boundary is also occupied by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, which extends along the eastern boundary, which also borders Fountain Hills, the McDowell Mountain Regional Park and more unincorporated Maricopa County land.[8]

The area which would include what would become Scottsdale was originally inhabited by the Hohokam, from approximately 300 BC to 1450 AD.[9] This ancient civilization farmed the area and developed a complex network of canals for irrigation which was unsurpassed in pre-Columbian North America.[10] At its peak, the canals stretched over 250 miles, many of which built remains extant today, some having been renovated and put back into use in the 20th century. Under still-mysterious circumstances, the Hohokam disappeared around 1450 or 1500, the most likely theory having to do with a prolonged drought. The area's later occupants, the Pima and O'odham (also known as the Papago), are thought to be the direct descendants of the Hohokam people.[10]

Pick the Best Ultrasound Tech College Scottsdale AZ

Selecting the ideal ultrasound technician certificate or degree program is a vital first step to starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic services to patients. Sonographer colleges require that you have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Along with satisfying academic requirements, you must be in at least reasonably good physical condition, capable of standing for prolonged durations with the ability to regularly lift weights of fifty pounds or more, as is it often necessary to adjust patients and maneuver heavy equipment. Additional desirable talents include technical proficiency, the ability to stay levelheaded when faced with an anxious or angry patient and the ability to communicate in a clear and compassionate manner. As we have covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing. This is true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to the college 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 alternatives until you are left with the best program for your education. And with the proper training, discipline and motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as an ultrasound tech in Scottsdale AZ.

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