HELP - QUESTIONS ABOUT ULTRASOUND TECH SCHOOLS ETC.

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Ashley in Brooklyn, New York

23 months ago

Hi,

I'm currently enrolled in a 4 year college and very close to getting my Bachelor's degree in Communication Arts with a concentration in English. The past few months (I know I'm late), I've come to the conclusion that the major I picked does not suit me or my interests any longer. I would love to do something in the medical field. EVERYONE is making me feel terrible that I want to change directions and go down a different career path. Anyway - I've been doing some online research about sonogram technicians and I have some questions.

- I'm in NYC and I would like to know if anyone could recommend a good school? I heard Sanford Brown is horrible, is this true? Also, I'm already in debt from going to this private 4 year college so are there any affordable options? Are community colleges cheaper than these specialized schools?

- How long does it take to complete training?

- Is there a difference between ultrasound technician and sonographer?

- Is it difficult to find jobs in this field in NYC?

- Besides sonography, I was also looking into Medical Assistant but I know this pays a lot less (I don't mind if I'm not making tons of money, it's more about enjoying the job but I do need to make enough to survive and eventually have my own family etc.). Does anyone have any opinions about this? Would it be a bad idea to go to school for that?

- If I do enroll in a sonogram program, does anyone have any advice for me? Anything important that I should know/be aware of?

Thanks so much in advance and sorry if these questions are overwhelming.

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Katie Jones in Mansfield, Ohio

23 months ago

Hi, Ashley! I am currently employed as a full-time sonographer that performs ob/gyn, abd, vascular and echo. I can't answer all your questions, but I'll try to answer some of them.

First off, don't let anyone stop you from doing what you want to do. You are the one that has to do it for the next 40 years, not anybody else. If you want to work in the medical field, work in the medical field.

I don't know about Sanford Brown in NY, but I do know that it is expensive and that it is not as well respected as other programs. It is very much a for profit institute and I would be weary. Community college programs are a great option and that is what I did after making a career change. It's not nearly as expensive as a private four-year but can still cost quite a bit. One important thing to look for in a school is that it supplies you with a clinical site. Some schools require you to find your own which can be very difficult. Also, although you will already have your Bachelor's degree, I would still recommend finding a school that is accredited by the CAAHEP. You can sit for your boards with a Bachelor's, but an accredited program ensures that the program you are entering must meet certain criteria that makes it more likely you will be entering a quality program. Program length can vary, but is typically 15-24 months, although some colleges are offering Bachelor's degrees.

Songraphers and ultrasound technicians are typically the same. People who do ultrasound prefer to be called sonographers, as they feel being called technician somehow diminishes what they do, as in nail technicians do nails and I provide an important medical imaging test and provide an interpretation of the test to the reading physician. However, the terms are pretty much interchangeable when it comes to looking for a job. Also, all the professional associtation use the term sonographer.

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Katie Jones in Mansfield, Ohio

23 months ago

I don't know much about medical assisting, other than I make roughly three times the money doing ultrasound as I would doing that.

The number one thing that I will recommend to you is to GO JOB SHADOW! People have these romantic notions about how things are going to be and they are so very wrong. When you job shadow, you get a peek at what it is actually like. It's like any job, some things are great and some are just plain awful.

Hope this helps!

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