If you’re looking at sonography schools, you have a big decision ahead. While diagnostic medical sonography can be a very rewarding and meaningful career, there are several aspects to consider.
For starters, you’ll want to determine what factors make for the most effective sonography schools.
1. All the Right Credentials
If an educational program sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Schools that promise degrees in short periods of time without ever having to attend a single class in person should throw up some warning flags. While there are some great online programs, they are often combined with in person coursework in a clinical or classroom setting.
To ensure schools are adequately preparing students for a career, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs chooses which schools will receive accreditation based on a number of criteria.
- Student services
- Clinical experience
- Faculty knowledge and experience
Choosing a school that has all its paperwork and credentialing all lined up will provide a much better education, and ensure you are ready to enter the industry.
2. Student Support Network
Too many students have received all the support they need at first…until the tuition check cleared, that is. While any school will pull out all the stops to get you enrolled, the only ones worth your time and money are those offering continued student support services. This includes after hours tutoring, financial services and a counseling department.
3. Vibrant Learning Community
Whether you take more of your classes online or in person, community is important. You’ll want to be set up with study groups and have after-hours access to professors. If you spend a lot of time on campus, a good library with internet access will be crucial to your studying routine. When you are talking to potential sonography schools, don’t forget to ask about the campus lifestyle and learning community.
4. State-of-the-Art Facilities
Ultrasound professionals work in clinical environments with extremely complex medical imaging systems. Any school you choose should have facilities featuring top-of-the-line medical sonography equipment and a clinical setting. Learning to use the most up-to-date imaging technology can make the difference between getting a job offer or waiting for a call that just won’t come. If a school can’t invest in the equipment needed to prepare you for a career, there’s no reason you should invest in that school.
5. Career Counseling and Job Placement
You don’t want to be left high and dry when it’s time to start looking for a job. The best sonography schools will be around to help you out before and after graduation to ensure you get into a great full-time position or internship. Look for schools that offer career services as well as job placement. You’ll also want to get your hands on the job placement statistics of any school you are looking into.
Enrollment in an allied health education is an important decision. It requires some homework and research to ensure you are making the best possible decisions that will lead to a better career with more financial and personal freedom. The above guidelines are just a starting point.