Each semester, you are enrolled in a set of classes just like you would be if you were attending classes on a college campus. Each week a lecture is delivered to you online for you to watch. You choose when to attend the class for that week. This gives you a great deal of flexibility with your schedule. Instead of having to miss a class because of a sick child or being sick yourself, you simply choose a day that works for you. Instead of having to choose between an unexpected work day and class, you can choose work and do class a different day. In any event the class is always there, waiting for you.
But don't think you can skip a class. This online program is more than just reading books and turning in assignments. The lectures you watch will bring you into the classroom by having you do classroom exercises and by responding to questions asked by the instructor. Student participation is not left out of this online program but is enhanced. Each student must participate but the difference is that you will participate at your leisure and when you have your formulated your thoughts. Do you have to participate? Absolutely because grades are given for these classroom exercises and your participation.
An advantage of this program is that you may have the option to do your clinical internship right in your own area. Locating a clinical site is the responsibility of each applicant. Once you find a facility that is willing to let you do an internship, SMAHE will assist you in securing the site. Approval of the site is made by the Program Director.
Clinical sites must be confirmed and approved prior to being accepted into the program. Multiple clinical sites are acceptable.
Tips on Locating a Clinical Site
It is the applicant's responsibility to search and find a clinical facility that is willing to allow you to do your internship for the duration of the program. Finding a clinical site can be a difficult task. It is important that you present yourself in a professional manner and to show that you are serious about learning sonography. Sonographers at clinical sites want students who are motivated and will show up each day, on time and ready to learn. it is up to you to prove to them that you would be such a student. Below are some tips to help you.
- Contact the department manager about doing a job shadow in their sonography department.
- If they agree to the job shadow, treat it as an interview.
- Dress professionally and get there 10 minutes earlier than the agreed time.
- Give a good hand shake and smile.
- When doing the job shadow, ask questions but do NOT ask questions in front of the patients.
- Be pleasant and courteous.
- At the end of the job shadow, at the appropriate time, ask the manager if the facility would be willing to allow you to do a internship if accepted into the program. If the question comes up about liability insurance, assure them that you will have that through the program.
- Be sure and thank them for their time.
Keep in mind that if there is an existing sonography program in the area, this may make it difficult for you to secure a site. The local program most likely sends their students to this facility. The facility may be reluctant to take on additional students.