Ultrasonography

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Rena in Long Beach, California

79 months ago

Hello,
I need some help. I was accepted to Nursing school and Ultrasonography. I am leaning towards Ultrasonography. I think Nursing offers lot of opportunities and its income driven. My friends are getting into nursing because they can make money. I want to work in the medical field and I feel Ultrasonography is just straight forward and Nursing school is tough. I really don't want to deal with lot of BS.
I am not sure if there is jobs out there for sonographers. Anyfeed back is helpfull. I read a post somewhere, that jobs are hard to find as a sonographer.. have to have years of experience.

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Rena in Long Beach, California

79 months ago

Hi Julie,
Thank you so much for replying to my post.
I will have to make a decision soon.
I know nursing is hardwork, I have some thinking to do
Thanks
Rena

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tamoune in Suwanee, Georgia

79 months ago

which career field pays more, RN or Ultrasound Technologist?

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Rena in Long Beach, California

79 months ago

Hi There,
From my research I found that Ultrasound pays anywhere from 25-32/hr. Average in California is around 55K. Nursing you have the potential to make more, with overtime. plenty of job avialable in Nursing.

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lele in Merrillville, Indiana

79 months ago

I AM A LPN AND A ULTRASOUND TECH. BOTH FIELDS ARE VERY REWARDING I AM CURRENTLY WORKING AS AN ULTRASOUND TECH AND I LOVE IT. THE BASE PAY IN MY AREA IS 60K AND WE ALSO TAKE CALL WHICH ACCOUNTS FOR ANOTHER 15K TO 20K PER YEAR SO THE MONEY IS THERE! NURSING IS AWESOME BUT IN THE END I THINK IT IS MORE MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY DRAINING. YOU HAVE TO HAVE TOUGH SKIN FOR BOTH. BOTH FIELDS ARE GREAT IT WILL ULTIMATELY BE YOUR CHOICE ON WHAT SUITS YOUR PERSONALITY AND LIFE THE BEST. GOOD LUCK.

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Anne in Whittier, California

79 months ago

I am an ultrasound tech in the So.Cal. area. I believe nursing has more potential than ultrasound. There is more movement in the field. I worked in research for a while with research RN. Though their pay isn't as great as patient care, their job is little bit of field (visiting research volunteers) and a lot of office and working along with researchers. Very interesting and rewarding. The good thing about going into ultrasound, each of your patients last about 1/2-1 hour then they go back to their room. So if you have a difficult patient, you would only have to deal with them for a short amount of time. With bedside nursing, however, your patient will be difficult throughout your shift, whether it is 8, 10, or 12 hours. A bit draining. To make the good money in So.Cal, you would have to work in LA, not OC or Riv/San Bern. The pay is poor in this area (don't know why). Hopes this help.

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Tiffany in Los Angeles, California

79 months ago

Anne- did you get your training in L.A. - i have a meeting with Westcoast today and am sooewhat on the fence where to go. I meet with Cypress College last week. Too bad there is not just ONE accredited scool in LA. Do you beleive that it is necessary to go to an accredited school? And do you know anything about WESTCOAST ULTRASOUND INSTITUTE? thanks for your advise!!!! tiffany

Anne in Whittier, California said: I am an ultrasound tech in the So.Cal. area. I believe nursing has more potential than ultrasound. There is more movement in the field. I worked in research for a while with research RN. Though their pay isn't as great as patient care, their job is little bit of field (visiting research volunteers) and a lot of office and working along with researchers. Very interesting and rewarding. The good thing about going into ultrasound, each of your patients last about 1/2-1 hour then they go back to their room. So if you have a difficult patient, you would only have to deal with them for a short amount of time. With bedside nursing, however, your patient will be difficult throughout your shift, whether it is 8, 10, or 12 hours. A bit draining. To make the good money in So.Cal, you would have to work in LA, not OC or Riv/San Bern. The pay is poor in this area (don't know why). Hopes this help.

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Anne in Los Angeles, California

79 months ago

I highly suggest that you go to an accredited program. Accredited program has affiliation with the top hospitals in the area so you will definitely get the training you need and the number and variety of cases possible. The accredited school in LA area is Orange coast community college, cypress college and Loma Linda Univ. I really discourage anyone to pay $30K for a private school. The are not accredited, do not guarantee you a site and overall, you will be dissapointed. I went to Cypress college, got great training, was at a top hospital in Los Angeles and was hired even before I graduated.

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esther in Fremont, California

79 months ago

Hi Anne,

Did you have any experience in the medical field before you apply the ultrosound program?

I'm living in North California. There is an Accredited program in Foothill college, but it is very hard to enter!

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Anne in Whittier, California

79 months ago

Esther,

Going into ultrasound was a fluke for me. I was in research but wanted a job more portable. I chose it because a cousin was an xray tech and I wanted to try something different. The program was hard to get into at cypress (100 applied in my year and they only accepted 20). Just be persistant, do good in your prereqs and you should be okay. I had no idea what I was getting in to and cried and wanted to give up the first month but I stayed with it and am so glad I did. Just remember, its not easy, not everyone gets it, and it's okay.

Anne

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esther in Fremont, California

79 months ago

Anne in Whittier, California said: Esther,

Going into ultrasound was a fluke for me. I was in research but wanted a job more portable. I chose it because a cousin was an xray tech and I wanted to try something different. The program was hard to get into at cypress (100 applied in my year and they only accepted 20). Just be persistant, do good in your prereqs and you should be okay. I had no idea what I was getting in to and cried and wanted to give up the first month but I stayed with it and am so glad I did. Just remember, its not easy, not everyone gets it, and it's okay.

Anne

Thanks, Anne, I will try to get into the program this year, be persistant!

Esther

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Nina in Long Beach, California

79 months ago

Hi i'm planning on going to college i would like to know if anyone knows if there is alot of jobs for physical thereapist or dental hygienist? Thank You

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April in Irvine, California

78 months ago

Anne in Whittier, California said: Esther,

Going into ultrasound was a fluke for me. I was in research but wanted a job more portable. I chose it because a cousin was an xray tech and I wanted to try something different. The program was hard to get into at cypress (100 applied in my year and they only accepted 20). Just be persistant, do good in your prereqs and you should be okay. I had no idea what I was getting in to and cried and wanted to give up the first month but I stayed with it and am so glad I did. Just remember, its not easy, not everyone gets it, and it's okay.

Anne

Hi Anne. I'm taking my pre-reqs now to apply for the sonography program at Cypress next year, so I'm so happy to see that you went there, too. Could you answer some q's for me? I know the program is extremely competative, so I'd like to know what kind of grades you got in your pre-reqs? Also, from your experience, is it possible to work part-time while in the program to avoid student loans? Lastly, do you have any experienced advice that would help me before or during the program? Anything you wish you would have known or wish someone would have told you? Thanks in advance for your time if you choose to respond to this! ~April

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Anne in Los Angeles, California

78 months ago

Hi there,

Glad to hear that you are interested in Cypress. The program does not look at overall GPA, just the prereqs: A&P, Intro to Radiology/Physics, Med Term, Survey of Disease, etc... I got all A's in the prereqs except for A&P which I had a B. Kinda nervous but I got in my first try. It depends on the class and the students that apply. I had almost 100 student apply for 20 open slots. But I heard the year after, they did not have a good pool of students. You never know. Actually, one of the instructors now was a student in my class. I worked part-time when I was a student (16 hrs/week) but I had a nice office job which was flexable. It was still hard though. Advice: It is hard! But don't give up. You will get it. As an intern, keep your mouth shut (easier for some) and just listen to your adviser. Do the dirty work (ports, etc..) they will notice and appreciate it. The goal is to be hired. Don't cause trouble (it happens more often than not because some people just don't like to be bossed around). It is very challenging and rewarding. Well, I'm still here after 5 years :)! Let me know if you have any other questions...Anne

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John in Slinger, Wisconsin

78 months ago

lele in Merrillville, Indiana said: I AM A LPN AND A ULTRASOUND TECH. BOTH FIELDS ARE VERY REWARDING I AM CURRENTLY WORKING AS AN ULTRASOUND TECH AND I LOVE IT. THE BASE PAY IN MY AREA IS 60K AND WE ALSO TAKE CALL WHICH ACCOUNTS FOR ANOTHER 15K TO 20K PER YEAR SO THE MONEY IS THERE! NURSING IS AWESOME BUT IN THE END I THINK IT IS MORE MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY DRAINING. YOU HAVE TO HAVE TOUGH SKIN FOR BOTH. BOTH FIELDS ARE GREAT IT WILL ULTIMATELY BE YOUR CHOICE ON WHAT SUITS YOUR PERSONALITY AND LIFE THE BEST. GOOD LUCK.

Lele,
that base pay sounds very good, is there a lack of US techs in your area of the country. If I'm not mistaken, there are no accredited schools in Indiana? I wanted to ask what type of US tech are you? general, vascular, or echocardio? Could you please tell me how the "on call" works? I heard that you make half your base hourly wage to be on call but am not sure how normal that is. I'm assuming you work in a hospital because you have on call hours?
thanks for any help you can offer. John

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Amy in San Clemente, California

78 months ago

I am currently taking my pre-reqs to enter the RN program. I need to work as much as I can(if not full time).. have to pay my rent. I was thinking of getting job at a hospital in admissions or in some other dept. My thought was that the schedule might be more flexible so that I can take the classes I need. Any suggestions or thoughts???

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April Jasmine in Cypress, California

78 months ago

Hey Anne thanks for the speedy reply! Good to know there's room to slip a little in my quest for staight As! That advice about keeping quiet is helpful; my bf just got into the nursing program and he says the exact same thing, so I'll definitely zip it. I do have a few more questions to ask if you don't mind. What type of sonographer are you? General, vascular, etc? Have you specialized in more than one area, and if so, any preferences? Also, speaking of chemistry: I never took chem in high school, and it isn't a pre-req, it's only RECOMMENDED. However, I don't have room in my schedule to take it before I apply to the program. How much chem is involved, and will I be okay having never taken it (in your opinion)? As far as the job itself: What was your starting salary; how long 'til you got a raise; what did you do to earn it; how much of an increase was it? How many hours a week do you work? Does overtime really pay as well as I hear? Have you seen sonographers with 4+ year degrees earning higher salaries than those with the AS degree, or not really? Thanks again if you make time to answer these questions, I really do appreciate the inside advice and perspectives! ~April

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April Jasmine in Cypress, California

78 months ago

Amy in San Clemente, California said: I am currently taking my pre-reqs to enter the RN program. I need to work as much as I can(if not full time).. have to pay my rent. I was thinking of getting job at a hospital in admissions or in some other dept. My thought was that the schedule might be more flexible so that I can take the classes I need. Any suggestions or thoughts???

Hey Amy. I can't help you with advice on a hospital job, but I can tell you not to count on working full time while you're in the nursing program. Seriously. My bf just started the RN program this semester, and he can barely handle working 20-25 hours a week. He's a good student, meaning he has good study and retention skills, good time-menagement, and says the work isn't DIFFICULT, it's just INCREDIBLY time consuming. I mean, I go to his house for up to nine hours at a time some days to help him write-up his care plans. That's nine-hours of him doing the research to find the information and me typing it up for him SIMULTANEOUSLY. It would take longer for him if he did it alone. The work load is insane. And you can't f-up; he failed ONE test by ONE point, and they threatened to kick him out of the program if it happened again, plus he now has to meet with an assigned tutor every two weeks for possibly the entire duration of the program. I'm not exaggerating, it's hard core! You are going to have to work as little as you possibly can to survive, I'm serious. You have to eat, breathe, live this program for two years. Hope this gives you an idea of the intensity of the program and the lack of time for anything else, including work. ~April

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amy in Long Beach, California

78 months ago

Hi Anne,
I read your response to April, very informative. I am torn between RN and ultrasound tech. What kind of benefits(health, retirement etc.)can Iook forward to in ultraound, being that sometimes you end up working of for a couple of offices?

Thx!!
Amy

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April Jasmine in Cypress, California

78 months ago

Anne in Santa Fe Springs, California said: April,

I am a General Ultrasound Tech at a top West Los Angeles Hospital (sorry, I don't want to disclose). The starting salary at the hospital is, with benefits, is $31/hour I believe. Last year, after 4 years, I was at about $34/hr. I switched to per diem at $42/hr because I want to work part-time (3 days) so the pay came out to be about the same. The first rase is within 6 months and then every year afterward. To get this pay rate, unfortunately, you would have to work in LA or at Kaiser (a work-horse). The salary in OC / Riverside / San Bernardino does not even come close. I had some training in vascular, but it is not needed at my hospital (a separate dept) and I am registered in OB, though we don't scan OB either. I am not a big fan of vascular due to the patient population but it is widely needed, esp in small hospital. Don't worry about Chem, you don't need it. Not many hosp have overtime, mine does not. If you have to rotate weekends, then you would have to take a day off during the week. Smaller hospitals have call, which I never had to do. Coincidentally, my hosp also train and hire BS Ultrasound techs and they do not make any more than someone with an AS. Only if you have an X-ray license have a bit of a raise. Any questions? Please ask and Good Luck!

Girl you are so helpful I can't thank you enough. I have a couple more questions from your last response. How many hours a day and how many days a week are full and part time considered to be? Also, how does 'per diem' work? That's all I can think of for now, you've answered pretty much everything I was trying to find out. Thanks again for all your help! ~April

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Anne in Santa Fe Springs, California

78 months ago

Hello to Amy and April:

The benefits for both RN and Ultrasound, if you work hospital base, is about the same everywhere, medical dental 403b, etc...However, if you work union like UCLA, UCI, County, or Kaiser, you have a pension where there is retirement and health benefits after your retirement. Otherwise, you just have to save money yourself. If I had a choice and time, I would probably go into RN. There is so much more movement in the field whether it is bedside, research, ect..If you are tired of doing bedside after a few years, you can do other things like research or go into public health. It is true you can work for a couple of offices but you are usually working at one place. Full-time is 36 hrs+ (like a 3-12 shift) and part time is minimum 24 hrs. You can get benefits with both. Per diem is without benefits, no medical, dental and matching 403b. But pay is great, usually, and if you have benefits elsewhere (hubby?) then you may not want or need benefits to get the extra pay. I work 3-8 hr weekend shifts to have 4 days off during the week so that I can take care of my kids and has been working out well. There is flexability, which is great in healthcare. A big perk! Good luck girls!

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Kevin Bright in Lake Forest, California

78 months ago

Does anyone know of any X-Ray tech schools near orange county California other than OCC

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Anne in Los Angeles, California

78 months ago

X-Ray school in Orange County: Cypress College, Cypress, CA
Nearby: Long Beach City College
Bachelor's Degree: CS Domingas Hills

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Kevin Bright in Lake Forest, California

78 months ago

Thank You so much for replying. Are there any colleges in southern Orange County California, more south of Cypress/

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Tenille, Ontario Ca in Los Angeles, California

78 months ago

Tiffany in Los Angeles, California said: Anne- did you get your training in L.A. - i have a meeting with Westcoast today and am sooewhat on the fence where to go. I meet with Cypress College last week. Too bad there is not just ONE accredited scool in LA. Do you beleive that it is necessary to go to an accredited school? And do you know anything about WESTCOAST ULTRASOUND INSTITUTE? thanks for your advise!!!! tiffany

DO NOT go to Westcoast I went there and it has been such a hassle. They have given me nothing but problems. The have the worst externship placement it took them 3 months to place me and they say they have job assistance but they don't.

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Anne in Santa Fe Springs, California

78 months ago

Please, do not go to private schools. I hear that they promise externship but never go through with it. My hospital had students call my supervisor saying that they are affiliated with our hospital (tops in the country). My supervisor said NO! and wouldn't be. We are affiliated with Cypress College, Orange Coast Community College, and Oregon Tech (a BS degree program). Nothing else. All schools are accredited (expt for Oregon Tech, they don't need to, they are a bachelor's degree program). So, don't waste your money. If this is truly what you want, study hard and get yourself into an CAAHEP program. Good luck!

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Ginnie in Eatontown, New Jersey

78 months ago

Would appreciate any advice... I am 47yrs old and currently considering a career change into the medical field either an ultrasound tech or an LPN. I only have a high school degree, so I am wondering if there are any accredited Ultrasound schools that would accpet me without a college degree. I found a non-accredited school that will accept me but I would have to work a year after completion of the program before being able to take the national exam. I am thinking an LPN career would be more practical at this stage of my life.... Also, only had basic math and biology in HS...would I need any prereqs so I am not lost? I was never strong in these areas. I love helping and working with people and have always been interested in the medical field...any advice would be appreciated....Ginnie

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Scott in Long Beach, California

78 months ago

Any suggestions for accredited programs in Portland OR?

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Anne in Santa Fe Springs, California

78 months ago

Oregon Tech

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Madison in Huntington Beach, California

78 months ago

Amy in San Clemente, California said: I am currently taking my pre-reqs to enter the RN program. I need to work as much as I can(if not full time).. have to pay my rent. I was thinking of getting job at a hospital in admissions or in some other dept. My thought was that the schedule might be more flexible so that I can take the classes I need. Any suggestions or thoughts???

Amy, most hospitals are very, very flexible when it comes to employees taking classes and in fact pay you back. You will never go wrong in the field. Good luck.

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Kazumi in Long Beach, California

78 months ago

I've been in Ultrasound for 11 years and can tell you the PROS AND CONS.

PROS -- I work Perdiem and make a lot of money -- $54/hr. Yes, the work load is a lot, but compared to Nursing we get some chances during the day to shoot the breeze and just hang out.

Nurses, however, NEVER get a breather. They are constantly busy, if not with a patient they are filling out paperwork/charting.

CONS -- Later in their careers nurses have more opportunites to branch-out into related fields, management, etc. Ultrasound is limited for further advancement. You can get licensed in other fields like vascular, breast, etc -- but it is still in the tech field.

PLEASE do not fool yourself that Ultrasound school is easier than Nursing. The bookwork is difficult BUT the hands-on training is extremely, extremely difficult to learn.

Good luck with finding a career.

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arieal 22 in Adelanto, California

78 months ago

Tenille, Ontario Ca in Los Angeles, California said: DO NOT go to Westcoast I went there and it has been such a hassle. They have given me nothing but problems. The have the worst externship placement it took them 3 months to place me and they say they have job assistance but they don't.

I am currently a Westcoast student and I agree, I have not even finished yet and the problems are to many to count, externship sites are there biggest problem and although they have 2 campuses and a weekend program, they are not prepared for the amount of students that they allow to enroll. They also enroll anyone, They think by being positive and only giving the positive aspect of the field, that is okay, but if they had been completely honest people could go into this with all the information needed. I believe the market for ultrasound techs is saturated and there are not enough jobs for all the techs that are out there, let alone, the new ones that are getting trained. I am 30,000, in the whole, I have no choice but to continue to push forward and continue to believe in me and pray that God will bring me to the place where I am supposed to be. I will never give up my dream of becoming and echo or vascular tech, one because I have spent to much money, time, and energy in this and two you have to have staying power or you will always give up on everything.

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NDL in Duarte, California

78 months ago

Wow, after hearing all the negativity about Westcoast Ultrasound, I am so glad I defered my enrollment to a later date. I was already to register for the April 1st start at the Ontario site. Now, after hearing all this complaint about them, I am glad that I am not currently enrolled with this school. I was having second thoughts before my registration date. But to you honestly, I extensively research this school throughly on the internet and found no deficiencies or complaints. But one thing I never had the chance to do was to talk to students currently enrolled or graduated from this institution. I am so glad I decided to take the community college route and attend the program that is CAAHEP or JRCERT. Even though I have to take the longer route to this program, at least it is accredited and alot cheaper than Westcoast Ultrasound. I feel bad for you guys, but hang in there and be persistent on your job search. At least one of the hospitals, image centers, doctor offices, etc. will give you a shot at this profession if you have the mind, will, motivation & determination to succeed in this profession. Good Luck!

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arieal 22 in Apple Valley, California

78 months ago

Tenille, Ontario Ca in Los Angeles, California said: DO NOT go to Westcoast I went there and it has been such a hassle. They have given me nothing but problems. The have the worst externship placement it took them 3 months to place me and they say they have job assistance but they don't.

Tenille, which exam are you trying to sit for. send me your email address and I will talk to you about it.

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mariana in Minneapolis, Minnesota

77 months ago

Anne in Whittier, California said: Esther,

Going into ultrasound was a fluke for me. I was in research but wanted a job more portable. I chose it because a cousin was an xray tech and I wanted to try something different. The program was hard to get into at cypress (100 applied in my year and they only accepted 20). Just be persistant, do good in your prereqs and you should be okay. I had no idea what I was getting in to and cried and wanted to give up the first month but I stayed with it and am so glad I did. Just remember, its not easy, not everyone gets it, and it's okay.

Anne

I think you are right!!I think to start this career from next year and all the starts are difficult. Nothing it easy...

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Student in Claremont, California

77 months ago

Re: West Coast Ultrasound......... :)
I am currently enrolled in West Coast and if you give it 100% and don't expect the school to do it all for you....the outcome is amazing. It isn't easy; so if you plan to enroll and float by and expect the school to find you a great externship site, you're crazy. You have to want it and work hard at it just like everything else in life. The teachers are great and each have their own style to offer the students. All of the faculty are approachable. We are all adults and if you have questions or problems you never have to hesitate. West Coast has given me the tools I need to be successful and now it's up to me to make sure it happens that way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Thomas in San Diego, California

77 months ago

I am trying to enroll in ultrasound program in S.Ca. My options are Cypress college (next door to me), Orange Coast college and Newbridge college. Those of you who have gone through any of these programs or are already practicing, could you tell me which is better? Newbridge is charging $31,000 for 1+1/2yr program. I don't know if it's accredited. How long is other programs. I am 45yr old and has 3yrs of undergrad in Engineering major (didn't quite finish) years ago.

Also what's the difference between Associate degree and Certificate. And how is Ultrasound radiologist (not doctors) different from ultrasound technician?

Thank you.

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Thomas in San Diego, California

77 months ago

I called Cypress and found out about the program. It's very cheap. It's also 1+1/2yr. The only thing is it's hard to get in and they accept only once a year. If the above said info that there are only 20 slots and about 100 people are applying, there is no guarantee that I will get in. And once I get in, how hard are the courses? Is it full-time or part-time?

Thank you for sharing your info.

I now know what Associate Sonographer degree is. It's just a certificate+AA degree. I already have Associate degree. I still don't know what Ultrasound radiologist is.

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Anne in Whittier, California

77 months ago

Hi there,

I graduated from the ultrasound program at Cypress College. I highly recommend it. Also, OCC since both schools are accredited by CAAHEP. I was one of the 100 people selected about 5 years ago. It used to be a certificate program but it will become an AS program this year. Do not waste your money on a private school, they are not accredited nor will guarantee a site for internship. Accredited program, however, will guarantee you all the training you need to sit for the Abdomen and OB/Gyn exam at the top hospitals in SoCal. You have to take prereqs such as Anatomy and Phys, a couple of x-ray prereqs, computer, math, english, med terms and survey of diseases. Ultrasound radiologist is a Radiologist, an MD. That is what radiologist stands for, a doctor in radiology. Are you thinking of sonographer? Any questions? Feel free to ask.

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Laurel Collins in Los Angeles, California

77 months ago

Concerning Student in Claremont - it is really silly that you would even say that we are EXPECTING West Coast to find us a clinical...that is just absurd...they should help students with their clinicals...most schools that are accredited have ROTATING clinicals -they have more than enough sites and students are not waiting..it should not be something that the student has to worry about! Absolutely you should strive to be the best tech you can be..that is without question, but it is most certainly the school's obligation to help you find a quality clinical site - because you are paying for it - you are paying for that service-you pay them for clinical time!! Look at what some of the other graduates of this school have said...I busted my butt for this career...my externship would have hired me, however they did not have an opening at the time I finished...and then it was hell to find something else..the field is more strict now..but it cracks me up all of these students of West Coast trying to say "well, you just didn't try hard enough" - to the graduates on here who have yet to find work - your floating by comment is a joke...I worked full-time, went to school and was a very good student-there is no excuse that you pay that kind of money and should have a hard time finding work...they were not upfront with me on hard it would be...all I heard was - "straight out of clinical into a job" - now they have their 30k and my skills are getting worse because I am not scanning..this from someone who was in the top of my class and even helped in the lab!

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Tony C in Mission Viejo, California

77 months ago

Anne,

I'd like to thank you for the information you've provided thus far. It has been very helpful.

I am strongly torn in between going to school to be a respiratory therapist or DMS. I understand these two are completely different in many ways and cannot be compared side by side. Any advice you might have or insight would be much appreciated as it seems you have a good general knowledge of the medical field.

I understand there is a large demand for RTs at the moment... how do you feel about the demand for DMS field after 2010?

IS it feasible to make 75K after a few years of experience as a DMS? That is my goal, please let me know if it is unattainable. I need that amount to live. From the research I've done it seems as though DMS in my area South OC only make around 50k a year. It seems a bit on the low side considering an RT who only works three days a week makes the same. Also, I saw an ad out for RTs "per diem" making around $600 a shift. How common is per diem work for DMS? what does it entail? (contract work?/guaranteed for x days? no knowledge on this subject please be detailed) how long are the shifts? what is the pay per diem?

Fortunately,I can attened either cypress or OCC any differences you know of that might hinder my decision? Also how long was your program at cypress w/Pre reqs? What math was needed for pre reqs? Would you recommend a certificate or diploma program?

Lastly and most importantly at the moment...how competetive is it at OCC and cypress to get into these programs? GPA etc

Thanks So much......im getting excited for dms as I am leaning more towards that lately!

PS do you feel the job is strenous physically emotionally etc?Also, if one were inclined is it feasible to open a Sonography lab etc? (small business)

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Tony C in Mission Viejo, California

77 months ago

Anne,

Unfortuanetly my plan to go to a caheep program is gone there is a waiting list at OCC for three years. Cypress does not have a waiting list instead uses a point system which gives x ray techs the advantage. I do not have x ray experience nor any x ray cert or license. . . .=( bad news for me today

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Anne in Whittier, California

77 months ago

Hi Tony,

I am sorry, I don't know much about respiratory therapy, I know quite a bit about imaging, ie radiology, mri, ct, ultrasound since I am in ultrasound and my husband is mri. The pay sounds quite well for respiratory therapist but I can almost guarantee you that it is contract work with no benefits. You can do that also in ultrasound, doing call for a registry can net you about $250 per case, or an experienced technologist doing registry could get you about $45 / hour but remember, it is only when they need you is when they call, some days, they may not. If you work for Kaiser, I believe the starting salary is $38 / hour but not easy to get into. Most hosp in OC, as you stated, starts around 50K/year. In LA (where I am at), it is about $31/hour with 3-5% raise a year. If you want the big $$ however, you would need to work the 2nd job or do call. Like I have said before, it is demanding and difficult (remember, you have to have good repore with the radiologist so that they believe that you have showed everything that you need to).

There is definitely a physical aspect to ultrasound, something that after just five years, I am worried about. I am worried about carpal tunnel due to tons of typing, shoulder and back pain due to pushing a probe, especially large or difficult patient along with doing portable cases. In the beginning you ignore it but the longer you do it, the more you are aware of it and change your scanning technique to better suit your body.

I do highly suggest CAAHEP program! OCC, Cypress, or Loma Linda Univ. OCC and Cypress have AS degree program (of course the more schooling, the better it looks on the resume). As you stated, Cypress doesn't have a waiting list but you have to have a great GPA. Half the students they accept are X-ray techs, the other half have no background, like me. OCC, no gpa needed, you just have to wait 3 years. I am not sure about Loma Linda, though.

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Anne in Whittier, California

77 months ago

The amount of jobs for ultrasound, it seems to me, to be slowing down a bit. I would like to change and find a job closer to home but it has been a bit difficult. So, I am holding out.

If you want to open your own mobile unit or create your own registry, it is quite possible. You would need good contact with a variety of hospital and know how to do all exams: Abdomen, Small Parts, OB/GYN (a must!) and Vascular (a DEFINITE MUST!)

Good luck to you on any of your endevors. I hope I answered all your questions and please feel free to ask any more. I am glad to help!

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Anne in Whittier, California

77 months ago

To answer the question about shifts, there are a variety, either 8hr or 12hr shift (three days only). In ultrasound, there are some hospitals that do 3-12's (not many). Most are 8 hr shifts. Per diem, you need to be flexable with your days and times as they will schedule you as needed.

Cypress has a lot of prerequs. Some are just a general need such as English but others are what you need to get in and are counted toward your GPA: College Algebra, Med Term, Survey of Disease, two Rad classes, Anatomy and Physiology and much more. It took me full time for a year to finish but I had a lot of the classes because I was almost finished with my Bachelor's degree. You may have to budget about 2 years if you have no prereqs at all. It is also good to do it before you get into the program because (unlike OCC), you can get it all out of the way before you start the program, so that you can just concentrate on your ultrasound and nothing else.

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Tony C in Mission Viejo, California

77 months ago

Anne in Whittier, California said: To answer the question about shifts, there are a variety, either 8hr or 12hr shift (three days only). In ultrasound, there are some hospitals that do 3-12's (not many). Most are 8 hr shifts. Per diem, you need to be flexable with your days and times as they will schedule you as needed.

Cypress has a lot of prerequs. Some are just a general need such as English but others are what you need to get in and are counted toward your GPA: College Algebra, Med Term, Survey of Disease, two Rad classes, Anatomy and Physiology and much more. It took me full time for a year to finish but I had a lot of the classes because I was almost finished with my Bachelor's degree. You may have to budget about 2 years if you have no prereqs at all. It is also good to do it before you get into the program because (unlike OCC), you can get it all out of the way before you start the program, so that you can just concentrate on your ultrasound and nothing else.

Anne,

Again, thank you for the replies. Am I interpreting this correctly? Without the sonography program itself I need two years of pre reqs to enter the program at cypress? Then once there it takes two years worth of schooling for the AA or cert.......? I do not have any xray background. If i get mostly As and a few Bs do you think i could get in?

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Anne in Whittier, California

77 months ago

Tony,

If you are starting fresh and did all prereqs full-time, you may be able to do the prereqs in 1 year (3 semesters). Remember to budget certain classes for each semester (especially summer), because they are not offered every semester. If not, it would probably take up to 2 years (4 semesters +). I have heard that Cypress is adopting an AS program route, not just certificate anymore where it was a 12 month program. It is becoming a 18 month program (I believe starting next year) making it an AS program. When I was applying for the program, the only B I received was in Anatomy and Phys., the rest were A's. I was not on a backup list. I would think that you have to try to get close to that. Other classmates that got into the program without a waiting list (and not x-ray), had maybe a max of 3 Bs and all other core courses As. You should strive for as high as you can get because each group of class is different. Remember, applications start in February for the fall semester so budget your time accordingly.

Good Luck!

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stephanie in West Covina, California

76 months ago

Rena in Long Beach, California said: Hello,
I need some help. I was accepted to Nursing school and Ultrasonography. I am leaning towards Ultrasonography. I think Nursing offers lot of opportunities and its income driven. My friends are getting into nursing because they can make money. I want to work in the medical field and I feel Ultrasonography is just straight forward and Nursing school is tough. I really don't want to deal with lot of BS.
I am not sure if there is jobs out there for sonographers. Anyfeed back is helpfull. I read a post somewhere, that jobs are hard to find as a sonographer.. have to have years of experience.

if u go 2 the good school(community college) and pass ur test(arms) definitely can find a good job with very good income but dont forget 2 go to community college.

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Michelle in Long Beach, California

76 months ago

Anne in Los Angeles, California said: I highly suggest that you go to an accredited program. Accredited program has affiliation with the top hospitals in the area so you will definitely get the training you need and the number and variety of cases possible. The accredited school in LA area is Orange coast community college, cypress college and Loma Linda Univ. I really discourage anyone to pay $30K for a private school. The are not accredited, do not guarantee you a site and overall, you will be dissapointed. I went to Cypress college, got great training, was at a top hospital in Los Angeles and was hired even before I graduated.

Hi Anne,
I applied for the ultrasound program 3 months ago at Cypress college and I didn't get accepted. Now I have a whole year and I don't know what to do in the mean time. What do you think I should do in order to get accepted next year? Also, how much do you get paid as an Ultrasound tech in LA?

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Anne in Whittier, California

76 months ago

I am sure you had taken all the prerequisite classes at Cypress. Your grade would need to be very close to a 4.0 (in the core classes) to get in. If you are interested in getting your AS degree, continue with those classes and apply next year. If you don't get in next year and you are absolutely interested in ultrasound, I would suggest getting into x-ray first then get your ultrasound cert. I would suggest that to anyone if they had the time. You can possibly get paid more and move around imaging (CT, MRI, Mammo, Rad therp, Nuc Med). I know one of my student is an xray tech, he is planning to work ultrasound (which doesn't get much overtime) and is jumping within the dept to do CT, xray, etc...to get $$$$ (lots!) In LA, ultrasound tech, just starting out is appx $31/hr with benefits or $37/hr per diem (w/o benefits). Good luck!

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