How to Choose the Right Ultrasound Tech Degree Program near Vassalboro Maine
Once you have made a decision to obtain an ultrasound technician degree near Vassalboro ME, the next step is to begin the process of choosing a school. To begin with, you must find the ideal program that will provide the appropriate education to become a skilled professional. And since some states do require that ultrasound techs be either licensed or certified, depending on where you will practice you may also need to be prepared to pass a licensing or certification exam. So it’s extremely important that you investigate each school so that you can evaluate and compare your alternatives. But just where does one begin? Many individuals will start by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their residences and then by comparing tuition. Certainly location and cost need to be taken into account when making a decision, but there are other significant factors as well. Such as, if the ultrasound technician schools have earned accreditation or if they sponsor internships. These and additional qualifiers will be discussed more in depth later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what an ultrasound tech does and the degrees and online education options that are available.
Ultrasound Tech Occupation Summary
There are several 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 function, which is to carry out diagnostic ultrasound techniques on patients. Although many practice as generalists there are specialties within the profession, for instance in pediatrics and cardiology. The majority work in Vassalboro ME clinics, hospitals, outpatient diagnostic imaging centers and even private practices. Standard daily work functions of an ultrasound technician may involve:
- 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 usage and then cleaning and recalibrating them
- Transferring patients to treatment rooms and ensuring their comfort
- Using equipment while limiting patient exposure to sound waves
- Evaluating results and identifying necessity for supplemental testing
Ultrasound techs must regularly gauge the safety and performance of their machines. They also are held to a high ethical standard and code of conduct as health practitioners. In order to maintain that degree of professionalism and remain current with medical knowledge, they are mandated to enroll in continuing education courses on a regular basis.
Ultrasound Technician Degree Programs Offered
Sonogram tech enrollees have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree will generally require about 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and class load. A Bachelor’s Degree will require more time at as long as four years to complete. Another alternative for individuals who have already received 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 sector, you can instead choose a certificate program that will require only 12 to 18 months to complete. One thing to keep in mind is that the majority of sonographer schools do have a clinical training component as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by entering into an internship program which numerous colleges organize through Vassalboro ME hospitals and clinics. When you have graduated from any of the certificate or degree programs, you will then have to fulfill the certification or licensing prerequisites in Maine or whatever state you choose to work in.
Online Ultrasound Tech Programs
As aforementioned, nearly all sonogram technician colleges have a clinical requirement to their programs. So although you can receive a degree or certificate online, a substantial part of the training will be either conducted in an on-campus laboratory or at an authorized off campus medical care provider. Practical training can often be fulfilled through an internship at a local Vassalboro ME hospital, outpatient clinic or private practice. But the remainder of the classes and training can be attended online in your Vassalboro home. This is particularly beneficial for those students that keep working while obtaining their degrees. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just as with any sonography college you are reviewing, check that the online program you choose is accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accreditation is particularly important for certification, licensing and job placement (more on accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to attend classes away from the classroom in the comfort of your own home, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Ultrasound Tech Colleges
Once you have decided on which degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the procedure of evaluating and comparing sonogram tech colleges. You may first want to decide whether you will attend classes online or commute to a school campus in the Vassalboro ME area. Naturally location will be important if you choose the latter, and the cost of tuition undoubtedly will be an important qualification also. But there are other variables that you must also take into account, for instance if the programs are accredited and if they offer internships. Therefore in order to carry out your due diligence so that you can arrive at your ultimate selection, below are a few questions that you need ask each ultrasound tech college before deciding.
Are the Ultrasound Tech Schools Accredited? Most ultrasound tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still imperative to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of sonography is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone an extensive examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Vassalboro ME health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the sonogram tech programs you are interested in have relationships with Vassalboro ME clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive 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 secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Vassalboro medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the ultrasound tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Maine healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Vassalboro ME residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the ultrasound technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the sonographer college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Vassalboro ME area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Sonogram Technician Education Vassalboro Maine
Choosing the ideal ultrasound tech certificate or degree program is a crucial first step to initiating a gratifying new profession furnishing diagnostic services to patients. Ultrasound technician 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, capable of standing for extended time frames and able to routinely lift weights of 50 pounds or more, as is it frequently necessary to position patients and move heavy machines. Other helpful talents include technical proficiency, the ability to keep calm when faced with an anxious or angry patient and the ability to converse clearly and compassionately. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Sonogram Technician Education and wanting more information on Accredited Sonography Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are multiple questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing. This is true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to the college campus to attend classes. And by asking the appropriate questions so that you can compare each program, you can narrow down your choices until you are left with the best school for your education. And with the right training, discipline and determination to succeed, you can reach your objective to work as an ultrasound technologist in Vassalboro ME.
More Ultrasound Locations in Maine
Vassalboro (originally Vassalborough) is a town in Kennebec County, Maine, United States. The population was 4,340 at the 2010 census. Vassalboro includes the villages of Riverside, Getchell's Corner, North Vassalboro, and East Vassalboro, home to the town library and sports field. Vassalboro is included in the Augusta, Maine, micropolitan New England City and Town Area.
The town of Vassalboro was named for one of the proprietors of the Maine settlement, William Vassal (or Vassall), a descendant of one of the original patentees (and later deputy) of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and a wealthy merchant who eventually became a controversial Loyalist. Other historians believe the town derives its name from the original Massachusetts proprietor William Vassal himself, who clashed with John Winthrop so frequently that he removed himself to the town of Scituate, where he soon found himself embroiled in ecclesiastical controversy once again, prompting his move after a decade to Barbados, where he died.
On March 2, 1770, William Vassall, one of Vassalboro's early proprietors, conveyed to his niece Mary Prescott of Nova Scotia Lot Number 5 in Vassalboro, one of the so-called "Proprietor's Lots" reserved for the town's founders. Niece Prescott sold the lot nine months later to a citizen of Hallowell.