Choosing an Ultrasound Technician College Greensboro Alabama
Once you have made a decision to obtain an ultrasound technician degree near Greensboro AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a college. First, you have to find the ideal program that will provide the necessary education to become a skilled professional. And since a number of states do mandate that ultrasound techs be either certified or licensed, depending on where you will practice you may also need preparation to pass a certification or licensing exam. So it’s very important that you research each program so that you can evaluate and compare your options. But exactly where does one start? Many students will start by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Certainly location and cost must be considered when making a decision, but there are additional important factors also. For instance, if the ultrasound technician schools have earned accreditation or if they provide internships. These and additional qualifiers will be covered more in depth later in this article. But to start with, let’s review what a sonogram tech does and the degrees and online training programs that are offered.
Ultrasound Technician Occupation Description
There are more than one acceptable 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 description, which is to perform diagnostic ultrasound testing on patients. Even though a number of techs work as generalists there are specializations within the profession, for instance in cardiology and pediatrics. The majority practice in Greensboro AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Standard daily job duties of an ultrasound technician may include:
- Maintaining 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 ensuring their comfort
- Operating equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
- Assessing results and identifying necessity for supplemental testing
Sonographers must regularly evaluate the performance and safety of their equipment. They also must adhere to a high professional standard and code of conduct as medical practitioners. In order to sustain that degree of professionalism and remain up to date with medical knowledge, they are required to enroll in continuing education training on an ongoing basis.
Sonogram Tech Degrees Available
Sonogram tech students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will typically involve about 18 months to 2 years to complete dependent on the program and class load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as long as four years to finalize. Another option for individuals who have already obtained 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 relevant health field, you can instead choose a certificate program that will take just 12 to 18 months to finish. One thing to keep in mind is that most ultrasound technician colleges do have a clinical training element as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship program which numerous schools sponsor with Greensboro AL hospitals and clinics. When you have graduated from one of the degree or certificate programs, you will then need to satisfy the licensing or certification prerequisites in Alabama or whatever state you choose to practice in.
Subjects to Ask Ultrasound Technician Programs
Now that you have decided on which certificate or degree that you would like to earn, you can start the procedure of reviewing and comparing sonogram tech colleges. You may first want to choose whether you will access classes online or travel to a college campus in the Greensboro AL area. Of course location will be critical if you select the latter, and the cost of tuition undoubtedly will be an initial qualification also. But there are additional factors that you must also take into account, for instance if the schools are accredited and if they offer internship programs. So in order to complete your due diligence so that you can arrive at your ultimate selection, following are several questions that you need ask each ultrasound tech college prior to making a decision.
Are the Sonogram Tech Schools Accredited? Most sonogram technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations 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 educational materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Greensboro AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the ultrasound technician colleges you are evaluating have associations with Greensboro AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Greensboro medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the sonographer programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Greensboro AL home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might 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 for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the sonogram technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the ultrasound tech college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Greensboro AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Ultrasound Technician Online Colleges
As previously mentioned, nearly all sonogram technician schools have a practical requirement to their programs. So while you can earn a certificate or degree online, a significant portion of the training will be either held in an on campus laboratory or at a sponsored off-campus medical care provider. Clinical training can often be satisfied through an internship at a local Greensboro AL outpatient clinic, hospital or private practice. But the rest of the classes and training may be attended online in your Greensboro home. This is especially convenient for those students that continue working while earning their degrees. Plus online programs are many times more affordable than traditional options. Costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But similarly as with every sonography school you are considering, verify that the online program you ultimately pick is accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies 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 motivated enough to attend classes away from the classroom in the convenience of your own home, then an online school could be the right option for you.
Considering Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech School near Greensboro AL?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School in the Greensboro Alabama area, following is some interesting history and background information about the location of your new school campus.
Greensboro is a city in Hale County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 2,497, down from 2,731 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Hale County, Alabama, which was not organized until 1867. It is part of the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Greensboro was incorporated as a town in December 1823 as "Greensborough". It was named in honor of American Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene. The name was soon simplified to "Greensboro". The community was known as "Troy" prior to incorporation.
Reflecting the history of the antebellum years and a culture built on cotton plantations to produce the commodity crop, several sites on the National Register of Historic Places in or near Greensboro are connected to this past. These include Glencairn, the Greensboro Historic District, Magnolia Grove, the McGehee-Stringfellow House, Millwood, and the Payne House.
Choose the Ideal Sonographer School Greensboro AL
Selecting the right ultrasound tech degree or certificate program is a vital first step to entering a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech colleges 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 condition, able to stand for prolonged durations and able to routinely lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it typically necessary to adjust patients and maneuver heavy machinery. Additional helpful skills include technical proficiency, the ability to remain collected when faced with an angry or anxious patient and the ability to converse clearly and compassionately. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple questions that you should ask each college you are considering. This holds true whether you enroll in an online program or commute 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 alternatives until you are left with the best school for your education. And with the right training, discipline and motivation to succeed, you can realize your objective to work as an ultrasound tech in Greensboro AL.
More Alabama Locations You May Find Intesting