HELP!!! What to do for new grads that didn't get enough clinical experience?

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L6870 in Dallas, Texas

20 months ago

I graduated from an "accredited school" where we were taught everything in 2 years: echo, peds echo, general, ob/gyn and vascular. While I thought this was great at first, I realized it is too fast to sufficiently become prepared. To make a long story short, we received 1 day/wk rotation our first semester (general), 2 day/wk our second semester (general), a 5 week rotation our first summer (OB/Gyn) (3rd semester), 2 day/wk in echo 4th semester, and then another 5 week rotation our very last (5th) semester. Most sonographers I know had a 6 month internship and got a ton of hands on scanning experience. I've found that the time my school gave us was NOT sufficient. Another student from my class was blessed in finding a full time job where they were willing to train her. It took them 5 months to train her and they basically stated that they had to "start from square one".

Before I get the haters on here (specifically one woman in general who rudely commented on a previous post from months ago) saying that I didn't try, don't care, put in no effort, etc, I'd like to add the following: 1.) Most hospitals I was at were so busy that the technician would let me scan for 5 minutes while he/she "did their paperwork". Obviously unsupervised time is no help. 2.) I would go in and practice with my friend at school, but when professors wouldn't show up to help, that is useless. 3.) I was on time, asked questions, took criticism. I could go on and on about other efforts.

I'm registered, and was hired PRN/Per Diem at a very well known hospital system where I currently live, where I was being trained for 2 months. After this time, they let me go, b/c it was quite obvious that the amount of clinical and hands on training was not sufficient and I could not be on my own. I've contacted the school I graduated from, sonography schools here in my area, and hospitals. HIPAA and liability is also causing me trouble, which I also understand. Does anybody have any advice? HELP!!!

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Frustrated in Butler, New Jersey

20 months ago

My clinical sites were also pumping out patients every 30 minutes and were unable to give me the necessary hands on. I spent months "OBSERVING" as opposed to scanning. When I did scan, I was handed the transducer and allowed 5 minutes to "try".

I believe there are not enough jobs, and the ones that are there have probably 150 people applying for the same job. Why should they hire me with 1 year clinical experience, when they can hire "Jane" with 3 years working experience? This is a reality with the bad economy, grads coming out of school with no jobs and like one person said all the projected jobs for ultrasound techs are from a few years ago. None of them are coming out saying this is a field that is saturated and unless you are willing to relocate you may not find a job.

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california girl1 in San Francisco, California

20 months ago

L6870 in Dallas, Texas said: I graduated from an "accredited school" where we were taught everything in 2 years: echo, peds echo, general, ob/gyn and vascular. While I thought this was great at first, I realized it is too fast to sufficiently become prepared. To make a long story short, we received 1 day/wk rotation our first semester (general), 2 day/wk our second semester (general), a 5 week rotation our first …"

That is so crazy! I got to talk to a few head techs in a mammography and ultrasound dept here in NorCal and they said the same thing!! I applied to a program that was 18 months! They told me that no matter how "intense" they program claims to be its not enough time to be properly trained. They told be I would be better off going to a 2 year program at a community college because the longer the better. Is it worth it to reapply?

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Roger in San Francisco, California

19 months ago

I feel that is the problem with a program that covers everything in 2yrs as opposed to a program that covers specifics. You cant learn echo in 6 months, or any modality in general.

If you find a place willing to help you get more experience, that is awesome. I firmly believe if you tell that to the lab that you need some hands on scanning, but everything else is in place (have registries) then you will eventually find something. Gotta start somewhere.. not to many people come out of school scanning like they have been doing it for 20yrs.

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L6870 in Texas

19 months ago

Frustrated in Butler, New Jersey said: My clinical sites were also pumping out patients every 30 minutes and were unable to give me the necessary hands on. I spent months "OBSERVING" as opposed to scanning. When I did scan, I was handed the transducer and allowed 5 minutes to "try".

I believe there are not enough jobs, and the ones that are there have probably 150 people applying for the same job. Why should they hire me with 1 year clinical experience, when they can hire "Jane" with 3 years working experience? This is a reality with the bad economy, grads coming out of school with no jobs and like one person said all the projected jobs for ultrasound techs are from a few years ago. None of them are coming out saying this is a field that is saturated and unless you are willing to relocate you may not find a job.

Exactly. I went to school in the NYC area, and all of the hospitals I went to for clinicals were slammed with patients. Each tech was doing 15+ exams a day, leaving little time to teach students. How are your job prospects? When did you graduate? Are you registered? There are days I wish I would have never gone back to school. I wouldn't be in debt up to my eyeballs...

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