How to Pick the Right Ultrasound Tech Degree Program near Eielson Afb Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Eielson Afb AK, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a college. First, you need to find the right program that will furnish the necessary training to become a qualified professional. And given that some states do mandate that ultrasound techs be either certified or licensed, depending on your residence you may also need preparation to pass a certification or licensing exam. So it’s very important that you research each program in order to evaluate and compare your choices. But just where does one begin? A number of students will begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their homes and then by comparing tuition. Certainly cost and location should be taken into account when arriving at a decision, but there are additional important factors as well. For instance, if the ultrasound technician schools have earned accreditation or if they offer internship programs. These and additional qualifiers will be discussed more in detail later in this article. But first, let’s review what an ultrasound tech does and the credentials and online education programs that are available.
Ultrasound Tech Job Summary
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 primary job function, which is to carry out diagnostic ultrasound techniques on patients. While many work as generalists there are specializations within the profession, for example in cardiology and pediatrics. Most work in Eielson Afb AK clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. Typical daily work tasks of an ultrasound tech may include:
- 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 cleaning and recalibrating them
- Escorting patients to treatment rooms and making them comfortable
- Using equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
- Assessing results and determining necessity for supplemental testing
Sonographers must routinely assess the performance and safety of their machines. They also must adhere to a high ethical standard and code of conduct as health practitioners. So as to maintain that level of professionalism and stay up to date with medical knowledge, they are mandated to enroll in continuing education programs on an ongoing basis.
Sonogram Technician Degrees Available
Ultrasound technician students have the choice to acquire either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will typically require about 18 months to 2 years to complete dependent on the program and class load. A Bachelor’s Degree will require more time at up to four years to finalize. Another alternative for those who have already obtained 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 medical sector, you can instead choose a certificate program that will take only 12 to 18 months to complete. One thing to bear in mind is that almost all sonographer colleges do have a practical training element as part of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges set up with Eielson Afb AK hospitals and clinics. After you have graduated from one of the certificate or degree programs, you will then need to satisfy the licensing or certification requirements in Alaska or whichever state you elect to practice in.
Online Ultrasound Technician Schools
As earlier discussed, virtually all sonogram tech schools have a clinical component to their programs. So although you can earn a certificate or degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be either held in an on campus laboratory or at an approved off campus facility. Practical training can usually be satisfied through an internship at a local Eielson Afb AK hospital, outpatient clinic or private practice. However the remainder of the classes and training may be accessed online in your Eielson Afb home. This is particularly convenient for those students that keep working while getting their degrees. In addition online programs are many times more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just as with every sonography program you are considering, make sure that the online program you select is accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is especially important for licensing, certification and finding employment (more on accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to attend classes outside of the classroom in the convenience of your own home, then an online school could be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Sonogram Tech Schools
Now that you have determined which certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of assessing and comparing sonogram tech colleges. You may first want to choose whether you will attend classes online or travel to a college campus in the Eielson Afb AK area. Of course location will be important if you choose the latter, and the cost of tuition undoubtedly will be an initial qualification as well. But there are additional factors that you must also take into account, for example if the colleges are accredited and if they sponsor internship programs. Therefore in order to carry out your due diligence so that you can make your ultimate selection, following are a few questions that you need ask each sonography school before deciding.
Are the Sonogram Technician Programs Accredited? Most sonogram tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies 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 an extensive assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Eielson Afb AK health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the ultrasound tech colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Eielson Afb AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Eielson Afb medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the ultrasound tech schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Eielson Afb AK residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the sonogram technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the sonographer college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Eielson Afb AK area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech Program near Eielson Afb AK?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School near Eielson Afb Alaska, following is some interesting background information about the location of your new school campus.
Eielson Air Force Base
Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: EIL, ICAO: PAEI, FAA LID: EIL) is a United States Air Force base located approximately 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska and just southeast of Moose Creek, Alaska. It was established in 1943 as Mile 26 Satellite Field and taken off deployment in 2007. It has been a Superfund site since 1989.
Its host unit is the 354th Fighter Wing (354 FW) assigned to the Eleventh Air Force of the Pacific Air Forces. The 354 FW's primary mission is to support Red Flag – Alaska, a series of Pacific Air Forces commander–directed field training exercises for U.S. Forces, joint offensive counter-air, interdiction, close-air support, and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. These exercises are conducted on the Joint Pacific Alaskan Range complex with air operations flown out of the two bases.
Eielson AFB was named in honor of polar pilot Carl Ben Eielson. The 354 FW is currently commanded by Colonel Benjamin W. Bishop. Bishop is a Command Pilot with more than 2,500 flight hours, including over 340 combat hours. He's flown the T-37, T-38, F-15E, F-35A, and F-16C/D aircraft. He is responsible for providing realistic combat adversary training to United States and allied forces in air, space, and information operations via RED FLAG-Alaska, Pacific Air Forces’ premier multinational large-force training exercise, and through PACAF's only Aggressor Squadron. He also directs the preparation and deployment of Airmen in support of global operations, enables the staging of forces through Eielson, and integrates air component capabilities into the US Army's I Corps through the 1st Air Support Operations Group. Additionally, Colonel Bishop is overseeing preparations for the arrival of the F-35A Lightning II aircraft at Eielson Air Force Base.
Eielson is projected to have fifty-four F-35's arriving in April 2020 and continuing through 2022. The planes will come with an estimated 3,500 personnel, to include Airmen and their families as well as civilian personnel. The F-35 program will increase the number of military personnel at Eielson by about 50 percent, which is a significant change for a base once on the brink of closure.
Find the Right Medical Ultrasound Degree Eielson Afb AK
Enrolling in the right ultrasound tech certificate or degree program is a vital first step to entering a rewarding new career providing diagnostic services to patients. Sonographer colleges require that you have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition to satisfying academic requirements, you should be in at least fairly good physical health, able to stand for extended time frames with the ability to routinely lift weights of fifty pounds or more, as is it typically necessary to position patients and move heavy equipment. Other desirable talents include technical proficiency, the ability to keep collected when faced with an angry or anxious patient and the ability to converse in a clear and compassionate manner. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Medical Ultrasound Degree. However, as we have covered in this post, there are multiple questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at. This is true whether you choose an online degree or drive to the school campus to attend classes. And by asking the right questions so that you can assess each college, you can narrow down your options until you are left with the ideal program for your education. And with the right training, discipline and motivation to succeed, you can achieve your objective to practice as an ultrasound tech in Eielson Afb AK.
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