Once a person decides to become a sonographer, there will be a host of questions. How long does it take to become a sonographer? What are the program requirements as of 2017? What is the average salary a sonographer is paid? Since there are so many questions, the CAAHEP accredited ultrasound technician programs offer student information sessions. Most programs require mandatory attendance before the student will be considered for admittance into the program.
Become a Sonographer Based on Good Information
Deciding to become a sonographer is a major career decision. The field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography is growing in importance as ultrasound technology is used for an ever-expanding variety of diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Any career decision should be based on reliable information like that provided by the Ultrasound Technician Center. On this site, readers can find the following information:
However, specific sonography programs have unique requirements concerning:
Instead of answering questions one-on-one, the ultrasound technician programs have developed sonography information sessions for prospective students. This enables the sonography program staff to consistently present information to a group so that everyone hears the same content. The group setting also enables students to ask questions in front of other people who can then hear the answer. Often, people have questions that others did not think to ask.
Most sonography programs have made it mandatory to attend an information session. This saves the program staff time and ensures critical information is delivered to the prospective students. No one can say, “I didn’t know that was required.”
Information Session Content
Each Diagnostic Medical Sonography program information session is unique to the program. Some sessions only offer a quick view of the sonography program and career, while others provide many details. Typical information sessions will discuss some or all of the basics like the following:
- The sonography profession, i.e. what it is and where it is practiced
- Sonographer’s required skills – psychomotor
- What do ultrasound technicians do?
- Personal qualities that indicate a student would enjoy the ultrasound technology career
- CAAHEP accreditation – what it means and why it is important
- Institutional accreditation
- Technical standards – motor, intellectual, communication and social skills
- Sonographer credentialing – ARDMS
- Type of facilities sonographers work in – hospitals, clinics, physician offices, mobile units
- Typical ultrasound machine used
- Admission requirements – prerequisites and grade point average
- Application process for school and program
- Applicant ranking process
- Curriculum – didactic and clinical requirements; availability of online courses
- Major areas of sonography study – general, cardiac, vascular, musculoskeletal, pediatric
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees offered at the school
- Program facilities – classrooms, sonography labs, clinical sites
- Teaching methods
- Clinical rotation requirements and the process for assigning clinical sites
- Tuition and fees (Check your local sonography schools by state)
- Graduation rates
- Graduate employment rates
There are lots of details included in information sessions. For example, a student may learn that a sonographer has to frequently exert approximately 40 pounds of pressure in a sustained manner during a procedure.
In addition, the information session instructor is likely to discuss the challenging program requirements. Students are required to earn a minimum grade in required courses and pass every required course to progress through the program. The CAAHEP accredited programs expect students to attend full-time. Most programs ask students to not work while attending the program because of the time commitment required for studying, attending classes and labs, and completing clinical training requirements. The training is intense because of the high standards the CAAHEP accredited programs employ.
Use Available Resources
The sonography information sessions are packed with information. It is an excellent opportunity to learn how to become a sonographer. Students are also likely to learn how to find out more about the school’s student resources, like financial aid and scholarships (check the financial aid opportunities for each ultrasound program by state), student services, counseling, library facilities and student activities. Attending a higher education program to become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer is an exciting time in a person’s life, and the information session makes sure the student starts off on the right foot.