Becoming an Ultrasound Technician is the most sought after career in US as compared to other allied healthcare programmes. For this you need to opt for the right kind of ultrasound technician school, Statistical data shows that in the year 2010 on an average 5, 366 students completed their sonography degree programme in US as compared to 3607 students in 2006 which is 49%rise.
Schools for Ultrasound Technicians
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To join the above workforce, the students can choose either On campus degree courses offered by 259 accredited schools or choose online programmes from 84 online ultrasound technician programs. In an online Ultrasound Technology program, the classes are delivered through message boards, videos ,web conferencing and email. Apart from these, there are Hybrid courses available that combine the ease of online learning withclassroom study. In last two programmes,the students are required to complete their hands on training by clinical rotation at nearby medical facilities.The programmes offered by most Ultrasound Technicians are as follows:
- Certificate Program Schools – Offer programs to obtain the basic minimum qualification for entry level jobs
- Associate Degree Schools – It is a two year course that is most popular amongst students.
- Bachelor’s Degree Schools – It is a four year accredited training course existing in almost all colleges &universities.
- Schools offering Vocational Certificate – Certain schools offer one year training program. It is usually taken up by professionals already working in medical field to upgrade their knowledge, skills &market ability.
Other schooling programs include post graduate and PhD programs in Sonography
Most training programmes offer training the students in medical terminology, Human Anatomy & Physiology, Medical Ethics, patient care, privacy, treatment and procedures, Sonographic Instrumentation, besides this accredited universities offer specializations in: Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Abdominal Sonography, Vascular and Cardiovascular Technology, Neurological Sonography, Ophthalmology. Students participate in internships at hospitals, clinics and campus medical centres.
Selection of an Ultrasound Technician School
- While choosing the school the following important factors must be kept in mind:
- School’s Accreditation- It must be accredited by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs(CAAAHEP).
- Certification success rate of the school- These are available on the school’s website or produced on request.
- Placement support provided by the school – Some schools assist in resume development, participate in career fairs & have tie ups with local hospitals to ensure placement for students of their college.
- Geographical Location – The largest ultrasound technician schools in the nation in the year 2010 were:
- Learning Environment, & Laboratory Facilities -Tuition fee of the school are also deciding factors for students. At a public university, ultrasound technician degree costs average about $3,000 each year but depending on the type of school (Private or public) & the degree opted; it may shoot up to about $18,000 per year.
- Many schools offer online scholarships, financial aid and grants: Inquire about additional costs. Some sonography school tuition costs include books and classroom materials, while others do not. Other schools may charge lab or equipment fees.
The basic reason for the popularity of this highly technical course is it‘s high affordability & higher returns after completion.