Selecting an Ultrasound Technician Degree Program Thomaston Connecticut
Now that you have decided to obtain an ultrasound technician degree near Thomaston CT, it’s time to begin the procedure of choosing a school. First, you need to find the ideal program that will provide the appropriate education to become a qualified professional. And because some states do require 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 very important that you investigate each college so that you can evaluate and compare your choices. But exactly where does one start? Many potential students will start by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their homes and then by comparing tuition. Certainly cost and location need to be taken into account when arriving at a decision, but there are other important factors as well. Such as, if the ultrasound technician schools are accredited or if they sponsor internship programs. These and additional qualifications will be addressed more in detail later in this post. But to start with, let’s review what an ultrasound tech does and the degrees and online training options that are available.
Ultrasound Technician Occupation Description
There are several 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 primary job description, which is to perform diagnostic ultrasound techniques on patients. Even though a number of techs practice as generalists there are specializations within the field, for example in cardiology and pediatrics. Most practice in Thomaston CT clinics, hospitals, outpatient diagnostic imaging centers and even private practices. Typical daily work functions of a sonogram technician can 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 usage and then sterilizing and re-calibrating them
- Escorting patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
- Operating equipment while minimizing patient exposure to sound waves
- Assessing results and determining necessity for additional testing
Sonographers must routinely evaluate the performance and safety of their equipment. They also are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct as health practitioners. So as to sustain that level of professionalism and remain current with medical knowledge, they are mandated to enroll in continuing education courses on an ongoing basis.
Sonogram Technician Degrees Offered
Ultrasound technician students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will usually involve about 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to finalize. Another alternative for individuals who have previously earned 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 sector, you can enroll in a certificate program that will take only 12 to 18 months to complete. One thing to consider is that the majority of sonographer programs do have a clinical training component as part of their course of study. It often may be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges sponsor with Thomaston CT hospitals and clinics. After you have graduated from one of the certificate or degree programs, you will then have to comply with the certification or licensing requirements in Connecticut or whichever state you decide to work in.
Topics to Ask Sonography Schools
After you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of reviewing and comparing ultrasound technician colleges. You may first want to decide whether you would rather attend classes online or commute to a school campus in the Thomaston CT area. Obviously location will be critical if you choose the latter, and the cost of tuition no doubt will be an initial qualification also. But there are additional things that you must also take into consideration, for instance if the schools are accredited and if they sponsor internships. So in order to complete your due diligence so that you can make your final selection, following are some questions that you may want to ask each sonographer college prior to making a decision.
Are the Ultrasound Tech Colleges Accredited? Most ultrasound technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still important to confirm that the program and school 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRC-DMS have gone through a detailed examination of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Thomaston CT employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the sonogram technician colleges you are assessing have associations with Thomaston CT clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Thomaston health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the ultrasound tech schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Connecticut healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Thomaston CT home. Those who have decided 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 concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the sonogram technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the sonographer college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Thomaston CT area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Online Ultrasound Technician Schools
As previously mentioned, virtually all sonogram technician schools have a practical requirement to their programs. So while you can receive a degree or certificate online, a substantial part of the training will be either carried out in an on campus lab or at an approved off-campus medical care provider. Practical training can usually be satisfied through an internship at a local Thomaston CT outpatient clinic, hospital or family practice. However the balance of the training and classes can be attended online in your Thomaston home. This is especially beneficial for those individuals that continue working while earning their degrees. Plus online schools are often less expensive than traditional alternatives. Costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But similarly as with any sonographer school you are considering, make sure that the online school you select is accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is especially crucial for licensing, certification and job placement (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 online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Considering Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech School near Thomaston CT?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School in the Thomaston Connecticut area, following is some interesting history and background information about the location of your new school campus.
Thomaston is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 7,887 at the 2010 census. The urban center of the town is the Thomaston census-designated place, with a population of 1,910 at the 2010 census.
The town, originally part of Plymouth, Connecticut, and referred to as 'Plymouth Hollow' was first settled by Henry Cook ("the soldier in the wilderness," 1683–1750) around 1728. The town is known for clockmaking, which started in 1803, when Eli Terry established a factory in the town. Terry brought mass production to the clockmaking industry, helping to reduce the cost of clocks. He introduced and patented the shelf clock in 1814, which reduced the cost of a clock from $25 to $5. His clocks were sold throughout the US. It was incorporated in its own right and under the name "Thomaston" in 1875. The name derives from Seth Thomas, the early clockmaker, who established a factory in town in 1812. The Seth Thomas clock factory building still exists; however, the clockmaking industry has long since left the state as well as the country.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total size of 12.2 square miles (31.7 km²). 12.0 square miles (31.1 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) of it (1.80%) is water.
Pick the Right Sonographer College Thomaston CT
Enrolling in the right ultrasound technician degree or certificate program is a crucial first step to commencing a fulfilling new profession furnishing diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound tech colleges require that you have a high school diploma or equivalent. Along with meeting academic standards, you must be in at least fairly good physical condition, able to stand for extended time frames with the ability to regularly lift weights of fifty pounds or more, as is it frequently necessary to position patients and maneuver heavy machines. Other preferred talents include technical proficiency, the ability to stay collected when faced with an angry or anxious patient and the ability to communicate in a clear and compassionate manner. As we have discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are looking at. This is the case whether you choose an online program or travel to the school campus to attend classes. And by asking the appropriate questions so that you can evaluate each program, you can narrow down your alternatives until you are left with the ideal program for your education. And with the right training, dedication and motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as an sonographer in Thomaston CT.
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