How to Choose the Right Ultrasound Tech School near Nikiski Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to pursue an ultrasound technician degree near Nikiski AK, it’s time to begin the procedure of choosing a college. To begin with, you need to find the right program that will furnish the appropriate instruction to become a skilled professional. And because a number of states do mandate that sonographers be either certified or licensed, depending on where you will practice you may also need preparation to pass a certification or licensing examination. So it’s very important that you research each school so that you can assess and compare your options. But just where does one start? Many individuals will start by looking for colleges that are within travelling distance of their homes and then by comparing tuition. Of course cost and location should be taken into account 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 internship programs. These and other qualifiers will be discussed more in detail later in this post. But to start with, let’s review what an ultrasound tech does and the credentials and online education programs that are available.
Ultrasound Tech Job Description
There are various acceptable titles for ultrasound techs (technicians). They are also called sonogram techs, diagnostic medical sonographers (or just sonographers) and ultrasound technologists. No matter what their title is, they all have the same primary job function, which is to implement diagnostic ultrasound procedures on patients. Even though a number of techs practice as generalists there are specializations within the field, for example in pediatrics and cardiology. The majority work in Nikiski AK hospitals, clinics, outpatient diagnostic imaging centers and even private practices. Standard daily job tasks of a sonogram tech may include:
- Maintaining records of patient case histories and specifics of each procedure
- Counseling patients by explaining the procedures and answering questions
- Preparing the ultrasound machines for testing and then cleaning and re-calibrating them
- Transferring patients to treatment rooms and ensuring their comfort
- Using equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
- Assessing results and identifying need for supplemental testing
Sonographers must regularly evaluate the safety and performance of their machines. They also must adhere to a high professional standard and code of conduct as medical practitioners. In order to maintain that degree of professionalism and stay current with medical knowledge, they are mandated to enroll in continuing education courses on a regular basis.
Sonogram Tech Degree Programs Available
Ultrasound technician enrollees have the option to acquire either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will usually require about 18 months to 2 years to accomplish dependent on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will require more time at up to four years to complete. Another option for individuals 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 enroll in a certificate program that will take just 12 to 18 months to finish. One thing to consider is that the majority of ultrasound technician colleges do have a practical training element as a portion of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by entering into an internship program which numerous schools sponsor with Nikiski AK hospitals and clinics. When you have graduated from one of the certificate or degree programs, you will then need to fulfill the certification or licensing prerequisites in Alaska or whichever state you decide to practice in.
Online Sonographer Degrees
As aforementioned, nearly all ultrasound technician schools have a clinical component to their programs. So while you can obtain a degree or certificate online, a substantial portion of the training will be either conducted in an on campus laboratory or at an approved off-campus facility. Practical training can usually be fulfilled by means of an internship at a local Nikiski AK hospital, outpatient clinic or family practice. However the balance of the classes and training can be accessed online in your Nikiski home. This is especially convenient for those individuals that keep working while obtaining their degrees. Plus online colleges are often less costly than traditional alternatives. Expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But similarly as with any sonographer college you are looking at, verify that the online school you ultimately pick is accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is particularly important for certification, licensing 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 could be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Ultrasound Technician Colleges
Once you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to earn, you can begin the procedure of reviewing and comparing ultrasound technician colleges. You may first want to decide whether you will attend classes online or travel to a school campus in the Nikiski AK area. Naturally location will be important if you decide on the latter, and the price of tuition no doubt will be an initial qualification as well. But there are other things that you must also take into account, for instance if the schools are accredited and if they offer internships. Therefore in order to perform your due diligence so that you can arrive at your final selection, below are several questions that you need ask each sonographer school before deciding.
Are the Ultrasound Technician Colleges Accredited? Most ultrasound tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded 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 a detailed assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Nikiski AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the sonogram tech schools you are evaluating have associations with Nikiski AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Nikiski medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the ultrasound tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Nikiski AK home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern 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 school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What Size 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 likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the sonogram technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the ultrasound tech college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Nikiski AK 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 courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Ultrasound Tech Program near Nikiski AK?
If you are considering a Sonography Tech School near Nikiski Alaska, following is some interesting background information about the location of your new school campus.
Nikiski is located at 60°42′28″N 151°15′46″W / 60.70778°N 151.26278°W / 60.70778; -151.26278 (60.707891, -151.262646) on the west side of the Kenai Peninsula. It lies along the shore of Cook Inlet between Salamatof to the south and the Swanson River to the northeast. It is bordered across the Swanson River by the Point Possession CDP.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the Nikiski CDP has a total area of 75.9 square miles (196.7 km2), of which 69.4 square miles (179.8 km2) are land and 6.5 square miles (16.8 km2), or 8.57%, are water. The CDP is in a low-lying region covered by several lakes, including Stormy Lake, Suneva Lake, Daniels Lake, Timberlost Lake, Island Lake, Foreland Lake, Bernice Lake, and Cabin Lake.
Nikiski first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as the unincorporated Tinneh villages of "Kultuk" (AKA Nikishka No. 3) and "Titukilsk and Nikishka". Kultuk had a population of 17, and Titukilsk and Nikishka had a population of 57, all of whom were Tinneh Natives. There apparently were no census reports from 1880 until 1980, when the area was organized as "Nikishka" and made a census-designated place (CDP). The name was altered to "Nikiski" in 1990 and has reported as such on each successive census.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,327 people, 1,514 households, and 1,130 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 62.2 people per square mile (24.0/km²). There were 1,766 housing units at an average density of 25.4/sq mi (9.8/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 87.15% White, 0.12% Black or African American, 7.56% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.51% Pacific Islander, 0.83% from other races, and 3.12% from two or more races. 1.32% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Find the Right Ultrasound Technician College Degree Nikiski AK
Selecting the ideal sonographer degree or certificate program is a crucial first step to initiating a gratifying new profession delivering diagnostic services to patients. Sonographer schools require that you have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Along with meeting academic standards, you need to be in at least reasonably good physical health, able to stand for lengthy time frames and able to routinely lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it typically necessary to position patients and maneuver heavy equipment. Additional preferred skills include technical aptitude, the ability to keep calm when faced with an anxious or angry patient and the ability to communicate clearly and compassionately. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Ultrasound Technician College Degree. However, as we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing. This holds true whether you select an online degree or travel to the college campus to attend classes. And by asking the appropriate questions so that you can compare each program, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives until you are left with the ideal school for your education. And with the right training, dedication and determination to succeed, you can reach your objective to work as an sonographer in Nikiski AK.
Other Ultrasound Locations in Alaska
Business Results 1 - 10 of 3