How to Choose the Right Ultrasound Technician Training Program near Jackson Alabama
Since you have made a decision to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Jackson AL, the next step is to start the process of picking a school. First, you must find the ideal program that will provide the necessary instruction to become a qualified professional. And since a number of states do require that ultrasound techs be either certified or licensed, depending on where you will practice you may also need to be prepared to pass a certification or licensing examination. So it’s extremely important that you research each school so that you can assess and compare your alternatives. But exactly where does one start? A number of potential students will begin by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Certainly location and cost should be considered when making a decision, but there are additional significant factors also. Such as, if the ultrasound technician schools are accredited or if they offer internships. These and additional qualifiers will be discussed more in depth 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 offered.
Ultrasound Tech Occupation Description
There are several acceptable titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also called sonogram techs, diagnostic medical sonographers (or just sonographers) and ultrasound technologists. Regardless of name, they all have the same primary job function, which is to implement diagnostic ultrasound procedures on patients. Although a number of techs work as generalists there are specialties within the field, for example in cardiology and pediatrics. Most practice in Jackson AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Typical daily job tasks of a sonogram technician can consist of:
- Keeping records of patient medical 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
- Moving patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
- Using equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
- Reviewing the results and identifying need for further testing
Ultrasound techs must routinely gauge the safety and performance of their equipment. They also are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct as medical practitioners. So as to maintain that level of professionalism and stay current with medical knowledge, they are required to enroll in continuing education training on a regular basis.
Ultrasound Tech Degree Programs Available
Sonogram tech enrollees have the option to acquire 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 require more time at up to 4 years to complete. Another alternative for those who have already obtained 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 health field, you can instead choose a certificate program that will require just 12 to 18 months to complete. Something to keep in mind is that the majority of ultrasound technician colleges do have a clinical training component as part of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship program which numerous colleges organize through Jackson AL hospitals and clinics. Once you have graduated from any of the degree or certificate programs, you will then have to satisfy the licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or whichever state you decide to work in.
Online Ultrasound Tech Colleges
As earlier discussed, nearly all sonogram technician colleges have a practical requirement to their programs. So while you can receive a certificate or degree online, a significant part of the training will be either held in an on campus laboratory or at a sponsored off campus medical care provider. Practical training can often be satisfied through an internship at a local Jackson AL hospital, outpatient clinic or private practice. However the rest of the training and classes may be accessed online in your Jackson home. This is especially beneficial for those individuals that keep working while getting their degrees. Plus online colleges are many times more affordable than on-campus options. Expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But similarly as with every ultrasound tech program you are looking at, check that the online school you select is accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is especially significant for licensing, certification and finding employment (more on accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn outside of the classroom in the comfort of your own home, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Ultrasound Tech Schools
Now that you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the procedure of evaluating and comparing sonogram technician colleges. You will first probably want to choose whether you would rather access classes online or travel to a school campus in the Jackson AL area. Naturally location will be critical if you select the latter, and the cost of tuition undoubtedly will be an initial qualifier also. But there are additional variables that you must also take into consideration, for example if the colleges are accredited and if they provide internships. So in order to carry out your due diligence so that you can make your final selection, following are several questions that you need ask each sonographer program before deciding.
Are the Sonogram Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of ultrasound tech schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still imperative to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among 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 earning accreditation from the JRC-DMS have gone through a rigorous review of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Jackson AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the ultrasound technician schools you are evaluating have associations with Jackson AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Jackson medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the sonographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance 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 Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Jackson AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the ultrasound technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the ultrasound tech program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Jackson AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech Program near Jackson AL?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School near Jackson Alabama, following is some interesting background information about the location of your new school campus.
Al Jackson Jr.
Albert J. Jackson Jr. (November 27, 1935 – October 1, 1975) was an American drummer, producer, and songwriter. He was a founding member of Booker T. & the M.G.'s, a group of session musicians who worked for Stax Records and produced their own instrumentals. Jackson was affectionately dubbed "The Human Timekeeper" for his drumming ability. He was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2015.
Jackson's father, Al Jackson Sr., led a jazz/swing dance band in Memphis, Tennessee. The young Jackson started drumming at an early age and began playing on stage with his father's band in 1940, at the age of five. He later played in producer and trumpeter Willie Mitchell's band and at the same time was holding down a chair in the popular Ben Branch Band.
Future bandmates Steve Cropper and Donald "Duck" Dunn first heard Jackson playing in Mitchell's band at the Flamingo Room, and the all-white Manhattan Club. Mitchell had also hired Booker T. Jones for his band. It was Jones who suggested Jackson be brought to Stax. He said, "You guys need to know about Al." Dunn said that Jackson almost caused his wife to divorce him, because after finishing his own gig at one o'clock, he would stop by a club to hear Jackson and would get home at four or five in the morning; "He was that good!" said Dunn. At first, Jackson was reluctant to join Stax. He felt he could make more money playing live than doing session work. He wanted a guaranteed regular salary to come over to Stax (although he continued to play on sessions produced by Mitchell for Hi Records). And so he became the first Stax session musician to be on a weekly salary.
Jackson became one of the most influential drummers in the history of recorded music at Stax, providing an instantly recognizable backbeat behind the label's artists, including Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, and blues guitarist Albert King (whose work Jackson also produced). In the 1970s, he co-wrote and played on several hits by Al Green, including "Let's Stay Together" and "I'm Still in Love with You", at Hi, and he was also a session drummer for many artists, such as Elvis Presley, Bill Withers, Leon Russell, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton, Jean Knight, Major Lance, Ann Peebles, Rod Stewart, Shirley Brown, Donny Hathaway and Herbie Mann.
Find the Right Medical Sonographer Training Jackson AL
Enrolling in the right sonographer degree or certificate program is an important first step to starting a rewarding new profession delivering diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound technician programs require that you have a high school diploma or equivalent. Along with meeting academic standards, you must be in at least fairly good physical health, capable of standing for lengthy time frames with the ability to routinely lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it typically necessary to position patients and move heavy machines. Additional preferred talents include technical aptitude, the ability to stay levelheaded when confronted by an anxious or angry patient and the ability to communicate in a clear and compassionate manner. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Medical Sonographer Training. However, as we have addressed in this post, there are multiple questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing. This holds true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to the school campus to attend classes. And by asking the right questions so that you can evaluate each school, you can narrow down your choices until you are left with the best program for your education. And with the right training, discipline and determination to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as an sonographer in Jackson AL.
Other Ultrasound Locations in Alabama