When comparing ultrasound tech schools in your area, you may find it easier to look for radiology technology schools. Most schools that are considered radiology technology may contain programs that concentrate mostly on ultrasound diagnostics. It is imperative when you are looking at schools to find the one that is the right fit for you — as well as the one that can offer you the best training.
Interview the School
When looking at ultrasound tech schools, you should research the programs available at each school. It is not much different than when you look for a job; however, this is more than a job — it is a career path. The training you get at school may determine what jobs are available to you in the future.
Look for programs that have instructors who have worked in the ultrasound industry. Many ultrasound techs take up teaching to fill gaps in their schedules, or they may be looking for a more relaxed atmosphere; either way, they almost always know their material. Look for programs that have smaller class sizes. A lower number of students means more time for an instructor to answer your questions or concerns. Ask if they are utilizing the latest equipment; in many cases, they will not due to the cost of the machines. They should, however, be able teach you the basic principles behind the equipment they may not necessarily have.
The ultrasound profession is in high demand, and many schools are trying keep the class sizes smaller to allow for individual instruction. Most programs have a set of prerequisite classes that must be taken. If the program is competitive — meaning they will only accept a certain number of students per quarter — they may also have higher grade requirements. Ask if there is a volunteer requirement to take the program. Some schools will require a 40-80 hour volunteer requirement as well as a number of hours that must be performed in an ultrasound environment. The responsibility of lining up these volunteer hours usually falls on the student, although some may have opportunities in local hospitals or clinics.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you should be detailed oriented and have good hand-eye coordination and technical know-how if you wish to be an ultrasound tech. When looking at this profession, make sure you have the qualities that fit the job. Every little advantage you have over your competitor increases your chances of getting into a great program.
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