Finding an Ultrasound Technician Degree Program Lake Havasu City Arizona
Now that you have decided to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Lake Havasu City AZ, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. First, you have to find the right program that will furnish the necessary education to become a qualified professional. And because a number of states do mandate that sonographers be either licensed or certified, depending on where you will practice you may also need to be prepared to pass a certification or licensing examination. So it’s very important that you investigate each college so that you can evaluate and compare your options. But just where does one start? Most students will start by searching for colleges that are within travelling distance of their homes and then by comparing tuition. Certainly location and cost need to be taken into account when arriving at a decision, but there are additional important factors also. Such as, if the ultrasound technician schools are accredited or if they sponsor internship programs. These and other qualifications will be discussed more in depth later in this article. But first, let’s review what a sonogram tech does and the degrees and online training options that are available.
Ultrasound Tech Occupation Description
There are more than one professional 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 basic job function, which is to carry out diagnostic ultrasound testing on patients. Even though many practice as generalists there are specializations within the profession, for example in cardiology and pediatrics. The majority practice in Lake Havasu City AZ clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Typical daily job functions of an ultrasound tech may involve:
- Preserving records of patient medical histories and details of each procedure
- Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
- Readying the ultrasound machines for testing and then sterilizing and re-calibrating them
- Escorting patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
- Using equipment while minimizing patient exposure to sound waves
- Assessing results and identifying need for further testing
Sonographers must frequently gauge the safety and performance of their equipment. They also must adhere to a high professional standard and code of conduct as health practitioners. So as to maintain that level of professionalism and stay current with medical knowledge, they are mandated to enroll in continuing education programs on a regular basis.
Sonogram Technician Degree Programs Available
Sonogram technician students have the choice to acquire either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will usually take around 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and class load. A Bachelor’s Degree will require more time at up to four years to complete. Another alternative for those who have already received 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 enroll in a certificate program that will require only 12 to 18 months to complete. One thing to consider is that the majority of ultrasound technician colleges do have a clinical training component as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship program which numerous schools organize through Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals and clinics. When you have graduated from any of the degree or certificate programs, you will then need to satisfy the licensing or certification prerequisites in Arizona or whichever state you elect to practice in.
Points to Ask Ultrasound Tech Colleges
As soon as you have determined the type of certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the procedure of assessing and comparing sonogram tech colleges. You will first probably want to decide whether you will access classes online or travel to a school campus in the Lake Havasu City AZ area. Obviously location will be significant if you decide on the latter, and the cost of tuition no doubt will be an initial qualifier also. But there are other factors that you should also take into consideration, for example if the schools are accredited and if they provide internships. So in order to perform your due diligence so that you can make your ultimate selection, following are a few questions that you may want to ask each ultrasound tech program prior to making a decision.
Are the Sonogram Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of ultrasound technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still important to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Lake Havasu City AZ health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the ultrasound technician schools you are assessing have partnerships with Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Lake Havasu City medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the ultrasound tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Arizona healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Lake Havasu City AZ home. Individuals who have chosen 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the sonogram technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the ultrasound tech program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Sonogram Tech Online Schools
As aforementioned, virtually all sonogram technician colleges have a practical requirement to their programs. So although you can obtain a certificate or degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be either carried out in an on campus laboratory or at an approved off-campus facility. Practical training can typically be satisfied by means of an internship at a local Lake Havasu City AZ outpatient clinic, hospital or private practice. But the remainder of the classes and training can be accessed online in your Lake Havasu City home. This is particularly beneficial for those individuals that continue working while obtaining their degrees. Plus online schools are many times less costly than on campus options. Expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But similarly as with any sonography program you are reviewing, verify that the online school you choose is accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is particularly significant for licensing, certification and job placement (more on accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to attend classes away from the classroom in the comfort of your own home, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Considering Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech School near Lake Havasu City AZ?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School in the Lake Havasu City Arizona area, following is some interesting history and background information about the location of your new school campus.
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Lake Havasu City is a city in Mohave County, Arizona, United States. According to 2010 census, the population of the city was 52,527 people. It is served by Lake Havasu City Airport. Lake Havasu City is geographically isolated from the other cities in Mohave County and is the southernmost community of the Las Vegas–Henderson, NV–AZ combined statistical area.
The community first started as an Army Air Corps rest camp, called "Site Six". during World War II on the shores of Lake Havasu. In 1958, American businessman Robert P. McCulloch purchased 3,353 acres (13.57 km2) of property on the east side of the lake along Pittsburgh Point, the peninsula that eventually would be transformed into "the Island".
After four years of planning, McCulloch Properties acquired another 13,000 acres of federal land in the surrounding area. Lake Havasu City was established on September 30, 1963, by a resolution of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors as the Lake Havasu Irrigation and Drainage District, making it a legal entity. (The act is referenced in resolution #63-12-1.) The city was incorporated in 1978.
Enroll in the Best Sonographer College Lake Havasu City AZ
Selecting the right ultrasound technician degree or certificate program is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech schools require that you have earned a high school diploma or a GED. In addition to satisfying academic requirements, you need to be in at least reasonably good physical condition, capable of standing for prolonged periods and able to regularly lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it often necessary to adjust patients and move heavy machinery. Additional beneficial talents include technical aptitude, the ability to stay calm 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 post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at. This is true whether you choose an online degree or commute to the school campus to attend classes. And by asking the right questions so that you can compare each program, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives until you are left with the best school for your education. And with the right training, discipline and determination to succeed, you can accomplish your objective to work as an ultrasound technologist in Lake Havasu City AZ.
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