There are often a lot of complaints in the ultrasound community about how schools aren’t following through on promises. “Job Placement Assistance” in particular. What can you do to increase your odds in the job market?
Do Your Homework First!
Did you walk into a school, listen to the sales pitch and get so excited you signed up on the spot? Big mistake. Schools are a business. They need to make money to stay afloat just like any other business out there. How do they accomplish this? Bring in boatloads of students with promises of job offers falling at their feet upon completion of the program.
Homework in this example should be, at least, to check the job market in the geographical location you wish to work before signing up for a program. Some suggestions would be to check:
- Job listing in the local papers
- Online job search sites
- Hospital job postings
- Craigslist for job postings.
This research will give you some idea of what you may be dealing with at graduation time.
School Accreditation Type
CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education) vs. Non-CAAHEP
- CAAHEP accredited programs enable students to be eligible to sit for the ARDMS registry exams immediately following completion of the program.
- Non-CAAHEP accredited programs requires an additional 12 months of work-experience to be eligible to sit for the registry exams.
More employers are now recognizing the value of registered technologists and are now making it a requirement for employment.
Clinical rotations/externships can make or break you with regards to being ready for the job market so take this part seriously. Aside from being a requirement for completion of the program, this is where you will obtain your first real hands on training. Finding a job right out of school is difficult enough with no experience. A bad clinical rotation can make it much harder.
Since this step is required to complete the program you would think the school will have this part adequately covered and they most likely will, but, not all sites are “good” sites. (Side note – Ultrasound Registry/Contracted services should be avoided for clinical rotations in my opinion. Why? These companies are expected to provide technologists who can hit the ground running. They couldn’t possibly have the time to dedicate to newbie’s). Here are a few questions you should attempt to find answers to:
- Find out how many sites the school is contracted with
- How many students are accepted at one time to those sites
- How many students are possibly waiting to start their clinical rotation / externship
Program Success Rate
How many of the schools recent students successfully passed the program and went on to find jobs in their chosen field?
Questionable schools will always be around. Your educational experience is what you make of it and you’d better be ready to do your part to contribute to your own success.
With the current state of healthcare and a shaky economy we have to be a lot more careful with our decision making processes when it comes to how we spend our hard earned dollars. There are a lot of things to consider when going back to and choosing the right school. The examples above are just a few of the many things that need to be taken into consideration. Credible schools certainly outnumber their questionable counterparts, but, remember they are a business and are not going to advertise their shortcomings. You are going to have to do your homework and make an informed decision. You’ll be glad you did.