The students choosing to earn a degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography are looking ahead to a rewarding career in a health sciences field that is only expected to grow with the rollout of the national health care system. Though there are many schools offering accredited programs in sonography, not everyone can attend a campus-based school for many different reasons. In that case, potential students must ask themselves if attending an online ultrasound program is a quality alternative.
Taking Everything into Consideration
There are many factors to consider, including the following:
1. It is important to attend an online ultrasound program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), which may not be offered at a local university, community college, or medical center. Since many employers are requiring a degree earned at a CAAHEP accredited program, attending an online CAAHEP accredited sonography program is an excellent alternative.
2. Program enrollment openings at many sonography schools are often limited, and admission wait times can be quite long. In fact, many schools make it clear that there are no guarantees for acceptance into ultrasound technology programs even if prerequisites are met.
Students may be able to begin their studies sooner by attending one of the accredited online ultrasound tech programs. A good place to start is by reviewing the list of accredited ultrasound technician schools. There are currently two CAAHEP online ultrasound programs available – Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas and Jackson College in Jackson, Michigan. However, there may be future accredited online schools that offer ultrasound tech programs, so it is important to check the list regularly.
3. The cost of attending an institution of higher education or completing a program at a medical center, for the purpose of obtaining a certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography or a desired degree, can be an expensive proposition. The degree options include an Associate’s degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography and a Bachelor’s degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Schooling can be especially expensive if it is necessary to choose an out-of-state school in order to attend a CAAHEP accredited sonography program.
Attending an online ultrasound program can be an affordable option. There is financial aid available for all sonography students. A good place to begin the search is at 17 Sonography Scholarships. Scholarships are an ideal funding source because the money does not need to be repaid. Students who have chosen a program can also discuss financial aid options with the school’s financial aid advisor. There are many types of financial aid that include grants, scholarships and loans.
4. Attending an online ultrasound program requires having access to the right technology and being comfortable using it. Each online distance education program has unique requirements, and they all require reliable high-speed internet access for a smooth learning experience. It is advisable to review the computer hardware and software requirements and the internet speed requirements before deciding whether online schooling is a good option.
5. Earning a degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography requires completing coursework that has a heavy emphasis in science and technology. Sonography is only a good choice if these kinds of topics are of interest. The typical coursework for a sonography program is found at major sonography courses.
6. All CAAHEP accredited programs in ultrasound technology require both coursework and clinical training. The distance education programs in sonography currently available offer two options. Jackson College and Washburn University will allow students to complete the clinical component at an approved medical center that is as convenient as possible for the student. Before applying for admission, it is important to contact the school and review the options. An excellent list of ultrasound technology schools with contact information is available at here.
It is important to understand the requirements of the clinical training component at the schools being considered. Completing the clinical portion may require relocation or commuting to the clinical site.
7. There are 9 ARDMS (American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography) credentialing exams that recognize general and specialty skills. The two CAAHEP accredited online programs include all major concentrations. A good beginning is to make a list of preferred career paths and use that list as a guide for choosing the right program.
8. The CAAHEP accredited online sonography programs are ideal for those who need to study at home. Usually, these include people who are caring for families or working part-time. As long as the clinical component can be completed, the online programs are an excellent option.
9. Distance education learners must be self-motivated and disciplined enough to set aside the space and time needed to succeed. Online learning is not for everyone. It requires outstanding time management skills. The article 5 Tips to Succeed in a Sonography Program Online can help students better understand what it takes to successfully complete online classes. Any who is the type of learner who needs face-to-face interaction with faculty and fellow students will not enjoy online sonography training because all personal contact is made online using software.
10. Before choosing a career in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, it is important to clearly understand how the ultrasound technician spends a typical workday. The job entails working hands-on with patients, dealing with high levels of details while reading images and completing patient health records, and working with a variety of medical professionals that include nurses, radiology technicians and doctors. A good explanation of the typical workday for an ultrasound technician is found at here.
11. Though a very rewarding career, a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer must be able to meet the physical and mental job demands required on a routine basis. In a typical day, the sonographer will see 10 or more patients who may have serious diseases or infections. Sonographers must be physically strong enough to assist patients onto the testing table and to position them to get the best images. They also usually have to be on call for some period of time each month but may have some scheduling flexibility otherwise.
In most areas, sonographers are compensated well for their training, experience and credentialing. The job outlook is excellent with the Department of Labor predicting a 26.4 percent growth in the number of jobs between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than the average for other positions. There is a lot more information about the advantages and disadvantages of working as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer at here.
An Online Ultrasound Program Puts Students on the Chosen Career Path
The online ultrasound tech programs make it possible for anyone interested in becoming a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer to pursue a chosen career path even when there is no local program available. The two most important points to keep in mind are to choose only CAAHEP accredited online and campus-based programs and to ensure all program requirements, including coursework and clinical training, can be completed given an individual’s circumstances. People have many options today thanks to technology. There is a wealth of information available online, and it is important to spend adequate time sorting through the sonography program admission requirements, required courses, clinical training locations, and job requirements.