Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs are more competitive than ever in 2017. Each CAAHEP accredited program has to limit enrollment in order to ensure students get the right amount of faculty attention and have access to clinical training. That should not discourage anyone from submitting a student application. It should encourage anyone with a strong interest in becoming an ultrasound technologist to utilize all the success strategies for becoming more competitive in the applicant pool.
First on the List: Gain Confidence
It is easy to get discouraged when the sonography program description says that 10 students are admitted each session. It is obviously not very many, but that should not stop anyone determined to become a sonographer. There are always options to the first school on the student’s list, like attending an online sonography program.
Therefore, the first thing to keep in mind is to approach the application process with confidence. Any doubt about abilities, capabilities and school selection is bound to come through in the application wording and interviews, even if as subliminal messages. Sonography program staff are experts at detecting confident students who will become confident ultrasound technologists.
Decide with confidence that Diagnostic Medical Sonography is the right career choice. Then begin taking steps to strengthen the competitiveness of the application.
Beyond the Typical Advice
The Ultrasound Technician Center offers many ideas for strengthening sonography program applications like this article. Following are some more strategies that go beyond the typical advice of meeting deadlines and prerequisites.
Put in Extra Effort
Putting in extra effort can take many forms and proves the student is determined to be a high-quality sonographer. Instead of completing only the prerequisite courses, complete additional health services related courses like medical terminology. Students can earn certifications in CPR, First Aid and so on. The idea is to prove the student is self-motivated, organized, can meet deadlines and balance a heavy workload.
Everyone has people in their lives who are willing to let a student use their names as references for application to Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs. However, it is important to have references that will attest to a student’s specific abilities to succeed in the sonography program. Ideally, references are practicing or faculty sonographers or imaging professionals. However, any professional who works in healthcare, and can attest to the student’s abilities, is better than a non-healthcare reference.
Demonstrate Real Knowledge of Sonography
This suggestion is related to confidence and extra effort. How can a student be confident that sonography is the right career choice if the student has minimal knowledge of what ultrasound technology entails?
Performing observations is one strategy, but it is not always possible. If the student is unable to gain direct knowledge, then at least demonstrate knowledge in other ways. They include completing non-credit introductory healthcare related courses or volunteering in a hospital in any capacity but making an effort to meet people in the imaging unit.
Exceed the Minimum Requirements
Though there are minimum prerequisites and grades, the students who exceed the minimums will be considered over others. It is one way the sonography programs cull the applicant pool. If necessary, take upgrading high school courses in math or science, or complete refresher courses that prove the student has stayed current in math, English and physics. Local community colleges and universities offer summer courses in these areas.
Learn to Interview Well
The personal interview with sonography program staff members is a critical step in the application process. People who do not interview well, or fail to stand out, are less likely to be selected. Sonography is a people-oriented profession, and potential students must exhibit they are comfortable discussing sonography topics and exhibit communication skills. Preparing in advance is important. Prepare a personal story, thoroughly familiarize yourself with the program and be prepared to demonstrate knowledge of what a sonography program entails.
Take Advantage of Everything Offering Information
If the program guide says applicants have the option of attending sonography sessions, then do so. If the program offers open houses, faculty consultation times, counseling services or anything else, be sure to participate. They are excellent opportunities to become a “face and name” and just might make a difference when the program staff are reviewing applications or making their final decisions.
Apply Again or Pursue Other Options
It is important to not give up, even if not accepted into the sonography program. The student can wait for the next application period and apply again, using the in-between time to make necessary changes to the resume, application and/or references.
Submit Applications Exactly as Described
Some programs ask for applications in a particular format, like PDF, or students are asked to complete and submit an online form. It is important to comply with whatever is asked of the students.
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Programs Need High Quality Students
The main message is this: Sometimes people have to go the extra mile to achieve their goals. Giving up because Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs have limited enrollment is not a path to success. Put in some extra effort, be flexible about school and program choices, never quit trying and do whatever needs to be done to standout in a large applicant pool. The payoff is an excellent career in sonography.
Get Your Degree!
Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.
Powered by Campus Explorer