Can I work while studying for my associates degree in sonography?
Studying for your sonography associates degree can be very time-consuming, which is a factor to consider when deciding what kind of associates program you would like to pursue. In addition to classroom instruction, most programs require several hours of clinical training per week. However, working while pursuing your degree can save you money on loans and make your resume look more impressive. For this reason, many students continue to work while studying.
One path to pursue is an online associate degree in sonography. Online classes are much more flexible in their scheduling, which means you can do your coursework and study at your convenience. This is particularly important if you work during the normal business day, when traditional college classes usually take place. If you’re concerned about the quality of an online associates degree program, many brick-and-mortar colleges and universities offer online sonography degree programs that are accredited by CAAHEP.
Keep in mind that many programs in the medical field, including sonography programs, require clinical hours in addition to classroom hours. If keeping your current job or working certain hours is important to you, it’s best to talk to former students or current professors in the sonography programs that you are considering and find out how much flexibility is involved when scheduling your clinical hours.
What are common assumptions about students who choose to get an associates degree in sonography?
One stereotype is that all students pursuing an associates in sonography want to be doctors. That is often not the case at all. While sonography is mainly a medical field, it is also a highly technical skill that can be used in various settings, including mobile imaging services or veterinary medicine. On the other hand, students who are more interested in helping patients can experience the type of work that doctors perform when working as a sonographer in a hospital or clinic.
Another stereotype is that an online sonography associates degree is inferior to an associates degree from a traditional college. While there are some “diploma mill” programs to be avoided, there are also many accredited online programs, including those run by brick and mortar colleges for sonography. In the end, employers care most about whether you have a certificate from an accredited program, not whether you studied online or in a classroom.
Perhaps because the most frequent use of sonography in popular culture is to provide ultrasounds of pregnant women, the degree has been associated with women. However, men and women pursue associates in sonography in roughly equal numbers.
What is the hardest part of the application to an on-campus or online sonography associates program?
Most on-campus associates programs require a high school diploma with a focus on grades in algebra and physics and a pre-admission interview. The hardest part of the application process can be convincing the dean of admissions of your interest in the medical profession, both through your choice of high school or college courses and during the interview.
Online associates programs may present a further challenge: similar to associates degrees earned at an on-campus program, most online sonography associates degrees require clinical hours in order to complete the degree. The hardest part is often finding a local hospital or clinic that will accept sonography students as trainees for clinical hours.
Depending on the college or university offering an online associates in sonography, you may have assistance in finding a local clinic or hospital, but if the college is based in another state, it may be entirely up to you to find a place to complete your required clinical hours.
Are there any brick-and-mortar colleges that offer an online sonography associates degree program?
Thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of online degrees, as well as a practical need to accommodate students with full-time jobs, many brick-and-mortar colleges are now offering online sonography associates degree programs.
Washburn University offers an online degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Washburn is a public university located in Topeka, Kansas, and its degree program is accredited by CAAHEP. There are several tracks that students can choose from, including general, vascular and cardiac sonography.
Jackson Community College offers several on-site and distance learning associates programs, including cardiac, general and vascular sonography.