Attending ultrasound classes online makes the most sense for some students. The reasons vary from lack of access to a campus to family obligations that restrict schedules. Earning a sonography certificate or degree online offers many advantages including flexibility, but it is only a good choice if the student is able to avoid the temptations that go hand-in-hand with the home-based education process. Temptations are the equivalent of distractions that can quickly get students off track.
Choice of Ultrasound Classes Online
It may be tempting to not treat the online class like a ‘real class’ as the student hears the call of housework, errands and family members, but the online CAAHEP accredited ultrasound programs has the same requirements as the campus based programs and needs the same dedication and attention.
If in doubt just check out the requirements to earn a Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography at Jackson College in Jackson, Michigan, or an Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography at State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Missouri. These are the three schools offering CAAHEP accredited programs in which the student can complete the didactic portion of training online. Any required clinical training must naturally be completed in a hospital, clinic or other medical setting. The programs have rigorous educational requirements.
The CAAHEP accredited programs offering online classes for ultrasound technician training are intentionally rigorous. They are competency based and designed to prepare sonography students to sit for the ARDMS exams. Being able to pass the exams is critical today because registration serves as the equivalent of licensing in the eyes of potential employers. Once students decide to take ultrasound classes online, they must be prepared to avoid the temptations that can easily interfere with meeting goals.
Online students face temptations like the following.
Making False Assumptions
Do not assume the class will be easier or require less effort just because it is offered online. That is a common false assumption that can get a student in trouble quickly.
Avoid the temptation of repeatedly starting and stopping work assignments. Attending classes online requires even more concentration than campus-based classes because there are more interruptions at home. It is important to treat the time while attending the online class the same way time in a campus based class would be treated. Students do not jump up and run out of class to see what the mail person delivered or to run quick errands.
Faculty preparing and monitoring online courses establish strict requirements. The syllabus is an overview of what students are expected to learn and the assignments that must be completed. It may be tempting to think the online work will take less time or to assume the work can be squeezed in “later”, as in later tonight or tomorrow or this weekend. That is a sure way to get in a time crunch and end up submitting assignments late or having to cram for exams.
Failing to Fully Participate
Sonography online programs are very sophisticated because of technology. There are online class discussions and work groups, interactive projects, forums and faculty-student meetings. Failing to fully participate in all of the online free activities will mean the student is not getting the full educational experience and is likely missing out on critical information or available help in mastering information, including imaging and diagnostic concepts.
Not Maintaining Professionalism
Anyone who decides to be an ultrasound technician has chosen a career that requires a professional demeanor at all times. Working with patients experiencing various medical issues and with a variety of health care professionals requires the sonographer to develop effective communication skills, to be mature, to maintain composure and to be responsible.
Taking online classes is a great time to begin developing those exact skills. For example, do not succumb to using internet grammar because it is unprofessional and gives the impression the student is not taking the class or online relationships seriously.
Overcoming Temptations Brings Great Rewards
Motivated students determined to pursue a career in Diagnostic Medical Sonography can enjoy the flexibility the ultrasound classes online offers, as long as they also understand this form of education is only for those who are disciplined and able to work independently. The temptations that derail students most often are related to having the wrong attitude. Online programs are not easier or more lenient. They are simply more convenient. Everything else is the same when comparing on-campus and online CAAHEP accredited program classes.