WEST COAST ULTRASOUND INSTITUTE: TOP SCHOOL AND NOT CORPORATE

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Lponce22 in Ontario, California

67 months ago

Ashlyn in Lake Elsinore, California said: I'm wondering the same thing.
I want to go there for the sonography or possibly the medical
assisting program..but
i have no previous schooling or background in it..does that matter
& will that affect my chances in getting a job?
I'm currently enrolled in my community college but i feel
like it's a waste of time..i don't feel any closer to what i want to do
so i'm researching other schools i can attend.

Thank you for your help !

It depends on what school you are going to yea its a 2 waiting period to get into the RT classes but you can take your pre-reqs while you're waiting. I'm going to Orange coast college for the cardiovascular technology program and I am at ease that I will have a job because i am eligiable to take the state exam as soon as i graduate.

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Lea Newland in Wildomar, California

67 months ago

I am also at ease with my choice and the ability to sit for the exams when i finish, even though i attend WCUI because of my bachelor, everyone has their own unique situation on deciding the school and you REALLY have to do your research on what you need to get a job. It surprises me how many students haven't done their research who i go to school with actually who don't really see the importance of getting their registry license,( which people try to blame the school for in the end) but if you didn't taking picking your school seriously then that is your own fault. It's a big decision to make, yea community college takes alot longer but if you never attended college to begin with it's not as bad as having taken college courses already and not having them transfer (due to how many years have passed since you took it or what type of school you got your degree at) and having to retake them, I didn't want to retake two more years of school then hope i get into the two year program...

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Lea Newland in Wildomar, California

67 months ago

also it's much easier on the wallet to attend the community college much much cheaper....!

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Ellie from Sacramento in Dallas, Texas

67 months ago

Lea,
I came across this forum as I was researching possible health care professions for my friend's daughter. She wants to enter the field of healthcare but isn't sure what profession. I worked for many years as an educational specialist for the state of CA, so she asked me to help her. After reading your comments about West Coast Ultrasound Insitute's hiring practices for DMS instructors, I felt compelled to comment. It is highly ILLEGAL and UNETHICAL to hire instructors who do not have a minimum of 3 years of actual work experience in the field of sonography. All instructors, both for lecture and lab must have 3 years of actual work experience. Experience and training as a student (classroom & clinical) do not count as work experience. This is a requirement by both the state of CA and ACCSCT (WCUI accreditor). All schools know about this requirement, because they are required to send in each instructor's work history experience to the state and ACCSCT. Those without 3 years experience are rejected. The only way that a school can get by with hiring an instructor who has no work experience is to 1. not list that person as an instructor, or 2. change the dates on the submitted forms so they appear to be qualified. The work experience requirement is important from an educational standpoint because instructors MUST bring "real world" work experience to the class. As to your comment that recent WCUI grads are fine because they are just teaching the basics, the basics in any training program are the MOST important because they are the foundation for everything that lies ahead. Schools that particicate in hiring practices such as this are looking to cut operating costs. After all, those who have just graduated aren't ARDMS registered and can't find employment. They are much cheaper to hire than fully credentialled experienced sonographers.

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Ellie from Sacramento in Dallas, Texas

67 months ago

(continued) As far as being ARDMS registered in order to teach, would you allow your elementary school child to attend a public school where the teachers don't have a minimum of a Bachelors Degree and a teaching credential? Then why would you pay to go to a school where only a few instructors are ARDMS registered? They haven't even passed the exam thay are teaching you to pass. Sorry to be so wordy, but this type of disreputable and illlegal behavior is what gives private postsecondary schools a bad reputation. It burns me to see trusting students like you taken advantage of. WCUI should be reported to the state and ACCSCT. Practices such as these put the student in educational jeopardy and open the school up to the potential for lawsuits. If you wish to check on hiring requirments for faculty go to www.accsct.org - accreditation-standards of accreditation - Bylaws - Section IIIB Page 75. To verify ARDMS registry status for an instructor, go to www.ARDMS.org - status verification.

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Lea Newland in Wildomar, California

67 months ago

Thank you!
I did look up the bylaws and did check my teachers registry verification which showed up, I don't know how they are accomplishing getting by with lab instructors lacking experience,i do know that there are more than 3 ARDMS registered experienced LAB teachers in the lab daily, and a registered supervisor of the lab. I know my lecture teacher is an MD and registered as well because i just looked him up. I don't feel like i'm receiving poor quality education from them as they critique my protocols every day as well as teach me what I need to know to be a good tech. I will look into this further though, thank you for the information, by the way i am friends with experienced techs outside of school that have so far found my education to be adequate upon demonstration so I trust their opinion. That doesn't make it ok however if they aren't doing things legally that really benefits no one in the end it's their reputation and accredidation at stake as well as our ability to find work.

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Zeeshan in Corona, California

67 months ago

I was looking up the MRI Classes, and according to WCUI you can sit for the ARMRIT (which is the equivalent to the ARDMS for MRI) right after school. Can anyone confirm? If it's true, this would be worth doing.

And does anyone have any idea on what the pay difference is for MRI Techs VS Cardiovascular Sonography Techs? Those are the two majors i'm looking into.

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Jessica

67 months ago

I want to take my chances and go to WCUI. After doing some research I decided I want MRI as a career instead of DMS. However, is this school really 30,000??? Are any of you going for that program or have grad. from it? Also what was your experince from that school?

Would really appreciate your honesty.
Thank You

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Lea Newland in Wildomar, California

67 months ago

I'm in the echo program there and I know someone in the MRI program and they like it i know he spends a few days a week at the hospital learning MRI outside of class time which is part of the program but i think it's the weekend, so you really do get hands on experience using the MRI machines not just looking at pictures. I do hear tho that you practice on each other so if you are claustrophobic keep that in mind, he didn't even realize he was claustrophobic till he went in the "tunnel". it really is 30,000 bucks tho!

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Orinda in Los Angeles, California

67 months ago

I looked into MRI and decided not to because AIRMIT is not really
recognized.You almost have to be certified in radiology.Things
are getting better,but I wouldn't take my chances at $30,000.Check
the jobs.They want radiology background.

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Zeeshan in Long Beach, California

67 months ago

well i noticed that ARMRIT since July 2008 is recognized by ACR so i figure that would have some impact on increasing their credibility.

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former WCUI student

67 months ago

CAAHEP, does have a big effect on someone getting hired for a job, If I would of have beeen aware of the difference in accreditations I would have just gone through a CAAHEP program, and yes, you can sit for the ARDMS but only after working for a year but good luck finding someone that will give you a job, out of the 16 people that graduated at the same time I did only 2 got jobs, and one of them was because they have family working in the field, dont just read this post do your research go online search for jobs what do they all say "CAHEEP" graduate or ARDMS, I went to the LA campus and man they talk a good game, theyll tell you most of the students are employed... LIE.... great externs alot of students extern at school, well do your research so that you all dont wind up like me in debt and jobless.

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Lponce22 in Whittier, California

67 months ago

WOW that really sucks thanks about a month ago I was interested in the Ontario Campus but good thing I didnt make that decision, because I found out that you dont need to complete many classes for your degree in radiology. I only need 2 more classes. I'm going to Orange Coast College for Cardiovascular tech/ultrasound!!!

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can in Buena Park, California

67 months ago

good for you Orange Coast has a great program for echocardiogram

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cm75 in San Bernardino, California

67 months ago

I would stay away from this school the reason so many students are working there is because they can't find jobs in the field they studied. These students have complained and they have been low paying jobs. Since they can not find anything else they except positions at the school. I took the mri class and finished my extern and still can't find a job, and mow of several others that have taken the echo and the dms class and are in the same boat. The school tells you what you want to hear and then once your done they don't help with anything and further more they have someone there that is suppost to help you find a job but I have not rec'd one lead from him. They give you a list of so called "leads" but if you look close at it in was developed and has not been up dated since 2005. My opinion stay away from WCUI

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wy868 in Canoga Park, California

67 months ago

just graduated from wcui this week. no ardms yet, but eligible to take the tests.

had one interview today, a temporary job, has a possibility to be permanent, starting at $15/hour, 40 hours per week. haven't decided if i should take it or not because i am expecting $25/hour. is it feasible in the current situation? any suggestions?

thx.

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Lea Newland in Wildomar, California

67 months ago

I say take it and keep looking while you work because you need the experience right now and the references, agree to the price but say once you are registered you'd like $25 per hour min as a registered tech. It's too low to begin with but in light of the fact that jobs are scarce especially for the newly graduated.

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Lea Newland in Wildomar, California

67 months ago

also consider looking outside local so-cal up north has more positions in Nor-cal and there are less schools with graduating students. It's really saturated down here with techs and new grads, even out of state if you have family out there consider looking in their cities and using them as a crash site while you potentially interview.

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wy868 in Santa Clarita, California

67 months ago

thank you lea. it's hard to find a good job these days.

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LPonce22 in Whittier, California

67 months ago

The 2-3 year waiting list to get into a cardiovascular class is going to kill me!!!!

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can in Redondo Beach, California

67 months ago

you are better off waiting 3 years than finishing a course & not being able to find externship placement or a job & being in debt $30,000.

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can in Redondo Beach, California

67 months ago

Lea Newland in Wildomar, California said: I say take it and keep looking while you work because you need the experience right now and the references, agree to the price but say once you are registered you'd like $25 per hour min as a registered tech. It's too low to begin with but in light of the fact that jobs are scarce especially for the newly graduated.

That is sad $15 an hour when you have a $30,000 debt. That is severely underpaid. Most echo techs make about $30 per hour in a hospital setting. Good luck to you

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Lea Newland in Wildomar, California

67 months ago

can in Redondo Beach, California said: you are better off waiting 3 years than finishing a course & not being able to find externship placement or a job & being in debt $30,000.

Well in reality this is what's going on across the board CAAHEP or no, read this post from the other accredidation forum...just posted today.

"Hi everyone! My name is Mandi and I graduated from an ultrasound program in Dec of 2008. I sat for the AART-US and the ARDMS- Abdomen + physics and passed all. I have been looking for work for almost a year with no luck. Everyone says they want experience. But how do you get experience when no one will take a chance on you? I am originally from Buffalo, NY but I am now in TX. I have been looking in about 10 states for jobs with no luck! Does anyone have any ideas? I spent $45,000 in school with no way to pay back the loans. I dont want to give up on what I wanted to do. Any help would be appreciated!"

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can in Redondo Beach, California

67 months ago

Lponce22 in Whittier, California said: WOW that really sucks thanks about a month ago I was interested in the Ontario Campus but good thing I didnt make that decision, because I found out that you dont need to complete many classes for your degree in radiology. I only need 2 more classes. I'm going to Orange Coast College for Cardiovascular tech/ultrasound!!!

Good choice they have a good reputation.

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Lea Newland in Wildomar, California

67 months ago

can in Redondo Beach, California said: That is sad $15 an hour when you have a $30,000 debt. That is severely underpaid. Most echo techs make about $30 per hour in a hospital setting. Good luck to you

It's not me that was about, it is severely underpaid but you have to admit the area is flooded with techs that the people hiring are taking advantage and like the girl i just posted about "mandi" that is REGISTERED and STILL can't find a job, it's better to get the experience if it's being offered at this point. People moan and groan that they won't take lesser paying jobs because it's beneath them but when you have to feed yourself and it's a choice between $15 an hour or minimum wage to pay the bills at some other non-scanning based job it's better to keep your skills in-tact while you keep looking and getting experience in the meantime don't you argree?

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can in Redondo Beach, California

67 months ago

You might want to volunteer in a local hospital, that might some doors of maybe being hired. Also alot of school loans could be deferred. Good luck keep knocking on doors and eventually one will open.

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can in Redondo Beach, California

67 months ago

Well is one wants to take jobs for that little money is okay, but is severely underpaid. A physician gets medicare reimbursement for an echo $386.00 dollars. The other problem is that once someone accepts a $15 hr wage, it brings down the value of the job.

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Lea Newland in Wildomar, California

67 months ago

I so completely agree with you and know that but someone coming out of school has no real weight to argue with the doctor/supervisor , sure they can give fact and figure that they as a tech know the doc is making hand over fist for the protocols but they have no proven experience to back up their skill, they can't say i've done 800 scans last year all perfectly and made Dr.Greedy $1.2 million dollars gross because they did 12 echos a day 5 days a week, 261 days a year. Which is why i said they should agree only if they raise the wage when they become registered. You have to prove to the greedy docs that there is value in you.

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Lea Newland in Wildomar, California

67 months ago

Also I know if you did 12 echos a day all year that doesn't equal 800 it equals 4332... actually

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LPonce22 in Whittier, California

67 months ago

Lea Newland in Wildomar, California said: Also I know if you did 12 echos a day all year that doesn't equal 800 it equals 4332... actually

lol you're funny. But you give great advise are you a tech? if so where did you graduate from or what school are you attending?

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Lea Newland in Wildomar, California

67 months ago

I'm not but I have a close personal friend i am going to school with and her husband has been one for 11 years and I have picked his brain quite a bit, he said for his first 2 years it was REALLY hard he was on call alot and had a full time job at a hospital he was lucky enough to get but it wasn't really full time because when it wasn't busy the hospital would send him home on-call but still that's not making enough money you know? He got his break when he proved to the hospitals head cardiologist that he could do perfect echoes even in very stressful situations and quickly and has since started working part time as an independant contractor for his office and has gotten a good work in at 3 other cardiologist offices in the area and rotates days between all of them making $45 an echo. Plus no more on-call at the hospital. But he stressed that it will be hard to get your foot in the door. I'm attending WCUI actually and so is my friend and according to her husband it's a fine place to go to school the machines are ancient but he said if you learn the dinosaur it only gets easier. It still amazes me that new machines will auto angle correct and auto focus etc...even the TGC's/ 2D gain etc don't have to be adjusted as much.

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Lea Newland in Wildomar, California

67 months ago

Furthermore i'd like to add that tenure doesn't stop docs from trying to wittle your hourly rate down. The tech i'm talking about he STILL gets the docs trying to adjust his per case rate because as you know medicare has cut costs in the recent past but STILL the docs make hand over fist and they tried a few times to use that to lower their hourly rate and because he does SO many echos AND fits extra patients in throughout the day he easily can ward off the pay cut because he knows exactly how much they are STILL making and that they wouldn't make that kind of money with any other tech, one day last week he did 22 echos, it was a long day and yes his arm is chronically in pain because of doing this but his problem is he never says no to the doc except of course when it comes to a pay cut.

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Lea Newland in Wildomar, California

67 months ago

I mean cardiologists must make more than a million dollars...the figures i quoted above were just for echoes and the docs do more than echo's....the fact that techs get less than $30 an hour is really ridiculous, and they rely so much on our investigative skills that you think they would appreciate that more....but nope........which is why i say Dr.Greedy. Granted their malpractice insurance must be through the roof...

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LPonce22 in Whittier, California

67 months ago

WOW thats really awesome to know someone in the field thank you! I'm attending Orange coast college and I can't wait until I get into the classes I'm on the waiting list but I was looking to attend WCUI but I can't afford it I can barly make it with my bills and luckly only need 2 more classes to get my AA while I'm on the waiting list. What bum's me out is that I really want to do ultrasound but I can't because I have a full time morning job, and all the DMS classes are in the morning so i'm going for cardiovascular tech and hoping that when I work as a tech I can get a scheduled late in order to go back to school for DMS!!

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Lea Newland in Wildomar, California

67 months ago

Well that's good I hope you make it in sooner than later! I hear you on the time of day, and the cost of WCUI for sure, that's unfortunate but especially if you are a guy you would be better of( I can't tell) it's better to do Echo than DMS in the long run so you aren't judged as much on your sex. Even so my friend's husband still asks to have a nurse in the room JUST IN CASE, that way a patient can't say he was inappropriate, and if they do there is a witness. Good luck to you!

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CAN in Buena Park, California

67 months ago

Hi Actually the majority of echo techs in the industry are males.
But I do recommend you to attend a Community College such as Orange Coast to become an echocardiographer.

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kathy in Davis, California

67 months ago

CAN in Buena Park, California said: Hi Actually the majority of echo techs in the industry are males.
But I do recommend you to attend a Community College such as Orange Coast to become an echocardiographer.

WHAT? I have been doing echos for over 27yrs and the majority of echo techs are NOT MALE! Having a nurse in the room is extra cost for the doctors, so actually its a tougher field for males to enter.
I went to OCC for the FIRST Echo classes held, long time ago...am done working, got burnt out, by doing so many echos, ended up with torn rotator cuff and had to have surgery, so word of advice, only do echo every 45 mins, and JUST SAY NO....

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imageman in Swanton, Ohio

67 months ago

I am a male that graduated from a CAAHEP accredited school in August 09'. I have already passed my ARDMS registry exams and am a RDCS. So far, no jobs or any offers at all. I definitely know of one job that did not hire me because I was a male. The job market is very tough for echo techs right now. It is even worse for men.

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can in Garden Grove, California

67 months ago

kathy in Davis, California said: WHAT? I have been doing echos for over 27yrs and the majority of echo techs are NOT MALE! Having a nurse in the room is extra cost for the doctors, so actually its a tougher field for males to enter.
I went to OCC for the FIRST Echo classes held, long time ago...am done working, got burnt out, by doing so many echos, ended up with torn rotator cuff and had to have surgery, so word of advice, only do echo every 45 mins, and JUST SAY NO....

Hello Ms Davis I live in the city of Torrance and mainly all the echo techs around here are males. You are right about being burned out, but alot of doctors try to book echoes every 20 minutes. All they care about is money.

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kathy in Davis, California

66 months ago

can in Garden Grove, California said: Hello Ms Davis I live in the city of Torrance and mainly all the echo techs around here are males. You are right about being burned out, but alot of doctors try to book echoes every 20 minutes. All they care about is money.

20 mins echo? That is terrible, most of patients i have scanned in clinic setting cannot even get undressed and lay on echo table in 10 mins! I know i have been in situations where the scheduler started giving me 30 mins between patients, I did it for LONG time, and got burnt out mentally and like i said, ended up having surgery on shoulder...the doctors need to realize that a 20min echo on ANY patient is not a GOOD ECHO. Am so glad to stop working as echo tech....miss the patients BUT not the doctors!
Oh i was paid well, but just think LONG TERM, i lasted over 20yrs, but am now in constant pain! Not worth the money! Good luck, and look on ARDMS website for TIME FRAME for adequate echo study time....45 mins...print it out and give to DOCTORS...LOL

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chrisandtell in Los Angeles, California

66 months ago

has anyone of you attended an lvn program at WCUI beverly hills campus? do you know some guy named khadeer khan? if so, what did you think about him?

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Christine Jones in Hammond, Indiana

66 months ago

Yeah, I checked into the LVN program at West Coast Ultrasound Institute in BH a while back. I met the guy Khadeer Khan. I felt kind of funny about him, so I did some research on him and the school before I signed up. Turns out he is a doctor from India, not licensed as an MD in the USA. He got his RN license in July 2006 and went to work for WCUI immediately.Doesn't look like he ever worked here in the US as a nurse. He is their Director of Education and their Director of Nursing. I also checked out the California Board of Vocational Nursing website. It's a great site.You may want to check it out, www.bvnpt.ca.gov It has the board Pass Rates posted for all the LVN schools in Calif. The pass rate for LVN graduates from WCUI is only 53%!, one of the lowest in the state of Califonia! I didn't want to waste my money at a place with such a low pass rate. You should look at the other schools in Ca. Find one where most of the graduates pass. You can't get a job as an LVN unless you pass that state board examination. Good luck at finding a good schools

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can in Los Angeles, California

66 months ago

You are correct about Dr. Khan, he also teaches EKG at night for the echo classes. He is extremelly arrogant about being from India and how much more intelligent they are in their country.

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steven c in Miami, Florida

66 months ago

imageman in Swanton, Ohio said: I am a male that graduated from a CAAHEP accredited school in August 09'. I have already passed my ARDMS registry exams and am a RDCS. So far, no jobs or any offers at all. I definitely know of one job that did not hire me because I was a male. The job market is very tough for echo techs right now. It is even worse for men.

I agree as well, I didnt get 1 job because i was male also.

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can in Los Angeles, California

66 months ago

Good that you passed your ARDMS. Keep checking with hospitals, even if you have to volunteer. GOOD LUCK AND BEST WISHES.

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jcolome in Miami, Florida

66 months ago

steven c in Miami, Florida said: I agree as well, I didnt get 1 job because i was male also.

Look for jobs outside of miami, fl - plenty of echo jobs up north. I have lived in miami for 40 years and can't wait to get the heck out of here. What school did you attend ?

just curious -

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steven c in Miami, Florida

66 months ago

I went to Sanford Brown Institute in Ft lauderdale.
I am thinking about moving.

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jcolome in Miami, Florida

66 months ago

I'm sorry to tell you but Sanford Brown has never been caahep accredited.

Only three school in the state of florida are accredited by Caahep

Central Florida Institute, Inc. - Palm Harbor, FL
Edison State College - Fort Myers, FL
Santa Fe College - Gainesville, FL

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Gina in Spring, Texas

66 months ago

jcolome in Miami, Florida said: I'm sorry to tell you but Sanford Brown has never been caahep accredited.

Only three school in the state of florida are accredited by Caahep

Central Florida Institute, Inc. - Palm Harbor, FL
Edison State College - Fort Myers, FL
Santa Fe College - Gainesville, FL

Actually, there are 13 in the state of FL that are accredited. You can look on the caahep website for the accredited schools.

www.caahep.org/Find-An-Accredited-Program/

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jcolome in Miami, Florida

66 months ago

yes, but only three for Cardiovascular technology.

thanks

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