Online Ultrasound Technician Schools: How to Tell the Good From the Bad?
The marketing of online educational programs in 2013 seemed to reach a frenzy as schools competed for enrollments. However, just because an online certificate or degree program exists does not mean it is reputable. Students must understand how to evaluate ultrasound technician schools online to ensure the earned degree or the earned certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography represents the quality training needed to provide the greatest employment opportunities. Following are 7 features to keep in mind when evaluating ultrasound technician schools and their online offerings.
1. Is the sonography program CAAHEP accredited?
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs is an accrediting organization that assesses the quality of schools and programs. CAAHEP accreditation is an important feature for two reasons. First, the CAAHEP accredited ultrasound technology programs prepare students to sit for the credentialing exams offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Second, many employers will only consider job candidates who graduated from a CAAHEP accredited school and are registered with the ARDMS. The accreditation status indicates students have received the training needed to competently manage ultrasound technician requirements once employed.
2. Does the online school offer advising, academic assistance and tools?
Good Diagnostic Medical Sonography schools online offer advising, academic assistance, opportunities for online networking with other program attendees, and educational software tools. Even though the classes are presented online, students should have access to faculty just like the students attending on-campus programs do. The only difference is that online sonography students will hold discussions using webcams, email, chat sessions or other software tools. Each online program uses a particular software package, and that package should contain features that enhance the educational experience. Students researching online sonography schools should review the technology requirements carefully and get assurances the software program offers students an enriched online experience.
3. Is the school have their prerequisites clearly outlined?
The quality online sonography school should have their prerequisites clearly outlined. For example, Washburn University requires that program applicants must have completed certain college-level courses that include statistics, algebra or some other higher mathematics course; physics or radiographic physics; communications skills class; and a human anatomy and physiology class. Each school will have different prerequisites.
4. Does the school require completing course work and clinical training?
Quality diagnostic medical sonography schools online require completing course work and clinical training. Students choosing a CAAHEP accredited sonography program have the assurance that both program components are included and that they are being properly prepared to sit for ARDMS exams. A good online sonography program will clearly explain the options for choosing a clinical education location so there are no misunderstandings.