How Do I Choose the Best Ultrasound Technician Online Classes?

Judith Smith Sullivan
Judith Smith Sullivan
A woman holding a prenatal ultrasound.
A woman holding a prenatal ultrasound.

The best ultrasound technician online classes will be well organized, meet your scheduling needs, and fit into your budget. The best programs are also accredited by a professional organization which focuses on allied health fields or sonography specifically. A good way to find ultrasound technician online classes is to visit one of these organization's websites and search for accredited schools.

An ultrasound technician doing an ultrasound.
An ultrasound technician doing an ultrasound.

Before you begin searching, you should consider your schedule. Unless you are a full time student, you probably have work and family responsibilities that take up a significant portion of your time during the week. To find out how much time you can dedicate to ultrasound technician online classes, write down all of your responsibilities and how much time they take. Don't forget time for personal hygiene and sleeping.

What you have leftover is the time you can use to pursue ultrasound technician online classes. Many online classes are completely asynchronous, meaning there are no scheduled class meetings, although assignments must be turned in by their due dates. Some programs have a synchronous component, requiring students to meet in a chat room or other virtual class once or twice per week.

Next, determine your budget. Most classes are charged per credit hour. Publicly funded community colleges are typically the least expensive option, unless the school is out of your region. Of course, in some cases a school may meet your scheduling needs, but be too expensive for your budget. Don't hesitate to contact the financial aid office of the school and ask how you can apply for loans, grants, or scholarships.

After you have considered your schedule and your budget, visit the websites of accreditation organizations. In the United States, two such organizations are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS). It is important to choose an accredited school because some governments will not assign a license to work to a ultrasound technician unless his or her coursework is from an accredited program.

When you visit a school's website for further information about their ultrasound technician online classes, look at their requirements and their course descriptions. The field of ultrasound technology requires hands on practice, usually called "clinicals." The best online program will have partnerships with hospitals and medical offices or will help you find a facility which is convenient for you. Beware of colleges that do not require clinicals. These are a necessary part of your education.

In the course descriptions, there should be clear objectives for the class topics listed. Contact the instructor of the class and request a syllabus and read it thoroughly. Not only should it have a detailed timeline of topics, discussions, and assignments, but it should also list what textbooks are required and whether it has synchronous class meetings.

Talk to the instructor about the expectations for the students. If you know you have special scheduling needs, for instance if you are expecting a baby or have to go on a business trip, ask if those needs can be accommodated. If the instructor is unhelpful, discouraging, or resentful, keep looking.

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    • A woman holding a prenatal ultrasound.
      A woman holding a prenatal ultrasound.
    • An ultrasound technician doing an ultrasound.
      An ultrasound technician doing an ultrasound.