Selecting an Ultrasound Technician College Duncan Arizona
Since you have made a decision to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Duncan AZ, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. First, you need to find the ideal program that will furnish the proper training to become a skilled professional. And given that a number of states do require that sonographers be either licensed or certified, depending on where you will practice you may also need preparation to pass a certification or licensing examination. So it’s extremely important that you investigate each school in order to assess and compare your choices. But exactly where does one begin? Many potential students will start by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes and then by comparing tuition. Of course cost and location need to be considered when making a decision, but there are additional significant factors also. For instance, if the ultrasound technician schools are accredited or if they provide internship programs. These and additional qualifiers will be discussed more in detail later in this article. But to start with, let’s discuss what a sonogram tech does and the credentials and online education options that are available.
Sonographer Occupation Summary
There are several 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 testing on patients. Although a number of techs practice as generalists there are specializations within the profession, for instance in pediatrics and cardiology. The majority practice in Duncan AZ hospitals, clinics, outpatient diagnostic imaging centers and even private practices. Standard daily work functions of a sonogram technician can include:
- Keeping records of patient case histories and details of each procedure
- Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
- Prepping the ultrasound machines for usage and then cleaning and recalibrating them
- Transferring patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
- Using equipment while minimizing patient exposure to sound waves
- Assessing results and determining necessity for further testing
Ultrasound techs must routinely gauge the performance and safety of their machines. 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 stay current with medical knowledge, they are mandated to complete continuing education programs on an ongoing basis.
Ultrasound Tech Degrees Available
Ultrasound technician enrollees have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will normally involve about 18 months to 2 years to accomplish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will require more time at as long as 4 years to finish. Another option 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 related health sector, you can instead choose a certificate program that will take just 12 to 18 months to finish. Something to keep in mind is that most sonographer colleges do have a practical training component as part of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which numerous schools sponsor with Duncan AZ hospitals and clinics. When you have graduated from one of the certificate or degree programs, you will then have to fulfill the licensing or certification prerequisites in Arizona or whatever state you elect to practice in.
What to Ask Ultrasound Tech Programs
After you have determined which certificate or degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of assessing and comparing ultrasound technician schools. You may first want to decide whether you would rather attend classes online or travel to a school campus in the Duncan AZ area. Clearly location will be important if you select the latter, and the cost of tuition undoubtedly will be an important qualification as well. But there are additional variables that you should also take into consideration, for example if the colleges are accredited and if they provide internship programs. Therefore in order to carry out your due diligence so that you can make your final selection, below are some questions that you may want to ask each sonographer school before deciding.
Are the Sonogram Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of ultrasound technician colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to make sure that the school and program 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 receiving accreditation from the JRC-DMS have gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers 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 learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Duncan AZ employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the sonogram technician schools you are interested in have partnerships with Duncan AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Duncan healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the ultrasound tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement 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 substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Duncan AZ residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the sonogram technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the ultrasound tech college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Duncan AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Sonographer Online Degrees
As earlier discussed, virtually all ultrasound tech colleges have a clinical requirement to their programs. So while you can obtain a degree or certificate online, a significant part of the training will be either conducted in an on-campus lab or at an authorized off-campus medical care provider. Practical training can often be satisfied by means of an internship at a local Duncan AZ hospital, outpatient clinic or private practice. But the remainder of the classes and training may be attended online in your Duncan home. This is especially convenient for those students that continue working while earning their degrees. In addition online colleges are frequently more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But similarly as with any sonographer college you are reviewing, confirm that the online school you enroll in is accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is particularly important for licensing, certification and finding employment (more on accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn away from the classroom in the convenience of your own home, then an online school could be the ideal choice for you.
Considering Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech School near Duncan AZ?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School in the Duncan Arizona area, following is some interesting history and background information about the location of your new school campus.
Duncan is in the Gila River valley, 4 miles (6 km) west of the Arizona-New Mexico border. The town limits are on both sides of the Gila, but the primary portion of the town and the entire downtown area lie on the south side of the river. Duncan was founded in the mid 19th century, and the land was added to the United States as a part of the Mexican Cession. The town of Duncan has been destroyed twice by flood and once by fire.
The town and area are primarily populated by ranchers and miners (especially from the Freeport-McMoran copper mines in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico). Surrounding smaller towns such as Franklin and York in Arizona and Virden, New Mexico, use Duncan public works and public schools. The Duncan area along the Gila River is renowned for Native American artifacts such as arrow heads, pottery, burial sites, cave paintings and other remnants of the Anasazi and other pre-historic cultures, as well as artifacts from garrison camps of the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, but grew up near Duncan on the Lazy B ranch, which straddles the border between Arizona and New Mexico. The Day family ran the ranch for many years until selling it; it continues to be run as a ranch. O'Connor later wrote a book titled Lazy B: Growing up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest about her childhood experiences on the ranch with her brother H. Alan Day.
Select the Ideal Sonographer College Duncan AZ
Picking the ideal sonographer degree or certificate program is a crucial first step to entering a fulfilling new profession providing diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech schools require that you have earned a high school diploma or a GED. Apart from meeting academic requirements, you should be in at least reasonably good physical health, able to stand for extended durations and able to regularly lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it frequently necessary to position patients and maneuver heavy machines. Other helpful talents include technical aptitude, the ability to remain calm when faced with an anxious or angry patient and the ability to converse in a clear and compassionate manner. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple questions that you should ask each program you are considering. This is true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to the school campus to attend classes. And by asking the appropriate questions so that you can compare each college, you will be able to narrow down your choices until you are left with the best school for your education. And with the right training, discipline and determination to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as an ultrasound tech in Duncan AZ.
More Arizona Locations You May Find Intesting