How to Become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer in North Dakota

North Dakota has a dynamic health care industry that is rapidly growing as the state’s population grows in 2013. There is a strong quality hospital system that includes St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck, the Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck, and the Sanford Fargo Medical Center in Fargo, to name just three. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers will find many new career opportunities in 2014 and the following years as the health care system expands to accommodate the economic boom generated by the oil industry, which is expected to last for many years.

Requirements and Steps to Become a Sonographer in North Dakota

Becoming an ultrasound technician requires completing classes selected from a list of courses supplied by the sonography school. Coursework is then supplemented with hands-on clinical training. Where the clinic hours are completed depends on the school attended. Some schools have designated clinical facilities where sonography students must work. However, an online ultrasound program may allow students to complete clinical training hours at a local hospital or medical center. The location of clinical training is an important consideration when selecting schools to attend.

The requirements to become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer will depend on the school selected and the type of degree pursued. It can take one to four years to complete a program because of the variety of degrees that can be earned. For example, in 2014 students can choose to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, which will take 4 or more years if entering the program with only a high school diploma. An Associate’s degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography can usually be earned in 2 years. A certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography is typically earned in programs designed for professionals who already have an allied health degree, have completed a hospital approved program, or are already ARDMS, CCI or ARRT registered.

Selecting a school requires careful consideration of several factors that include the following:

Is the sonography program accredited by the CAAHEP?
How many years has the program been operating?
What percentage of graduating students pass the ARDMS exams on their first attempt?
What are the credentials of the faculty?
What percentage of graduates find employment in their desired field?
What support systems are in place in terms of counseling and access to faculty?
What degrees and concentrations are offered by the school?
Where does the clinical training take place?

Attending a school with a CAAHEP-accredited sonography program is important if a student wants to become a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS), a Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT) or a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS). Credentialing is increasingly becoming a requirement for employment.

Since states do not require licensing, the credentials serve as proof of knowledge and training. Students must complete certain requirements before they are even eligible to take the exams, which is why they should choose a CAAHEP-accredited program.

Options for Schooling

North Dakota students who want to complete a CAAHEP-accredited sonography program will have to choose distance education or attending a school in another state. North Dakota is one of a few states that does not have a CAAHEP-accredited sonography program.

There is a complete list of Diagnostic Medical Sonography schools at the school directory. South Dakota and Minnesota border North Dakota. Minnesota has 4 CAAHEP-accredited programs, South Dakota has one CAAHEP-accredited sonography program. Among the various schools and programs, students will find an excellent choice of degrees and concentrations in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

The CAAHEP has also accredited three online or distance education programs for sonography education.

Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas has been delivering a distance learning program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography for over 11 years. The program ensures students complete the necessary didactic and clinical training needed to sit for the ARDMS or CCI exams. The clinical component of the program can usually be completed in a medical center or research center that is near the student’s home or near a location convenient for the student.

Jackson College in Jackson, Michigan also has a CAAHEP-accredited program. The school makes it clear that there are more students applying than there are available program slots, so it is important to plan well ahead if this is the school of choice. Jackson College has three programs with concentrations in general, vascular and cardiac sonography that are three or four semesters long, depending on which concentration is chosen. Jackson College will also work with students to find a qualified facility where clinical training can be conveniently accessed.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee also offers online coursework. The CAAHEP lists the school as newly accredited for a distance learning program. There are two programs leading to a Bachelor’s degree. The professional program enabling students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Imaging is for people who are already worked in the medical field. The Diagnostic Imaging Completion Program paves an educational path for earning a four year degree which takes into account work experience to date. Anyone who is ARMDS, CCI or ARRT registered, or has completed a hospital-based program or Associate’s degree within the last 10 years, can apply. The University website indicates that most students can complete the entire program online.

The second degree offered by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is a Bachelor of Science degree with a Diagnostic Medical Sonography sub major. The program requires didactic coursework and clinical training. However, the clinical portion must be completed at Aurora St. Luke’s, the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, or the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Many of the classes can be taken online, but North Dakota residents will have to be willing to temporarily relocate during clinical training.

3 Common Diagnostic Tests To Detect Cat Health Problems

Like every pet, your cat is also susceptible to cat health problems and proper medical diagnosis is required for before specific treatments can be prescribed. Even when your pet may not show any signs of being sick, a medical checkup can reveal whether it is really well or not. Your vet will prescribe a set of diagnostic tests to be done to find out the actual health condition of your cat. When there is a specific illness involved, the diagnostic tests for revealing cat health problems will vary from the ones related to a general health checkup. This article helps you to understand the procedures better.

Diagnostic tests for your cat can reveal a lot of information related to its health. Sometimes a mere physical examination is not enough to know whether your cat is really fine or not.

• Diagnostic tests can help the vet to localize or characterize a problem in the cat and then treat the ailment accordingly.

• Some ailments such as cancer, kidney or heart diseases do not show up as cat health problems until in the progressive stages. Diagnostic tests can help in identifying them in early stages so as to provide better treatment options.

• Another great benefit that medical diagnostic tests can provide is to monitor the progress of a treatment. Serial blood sugar tests or kidney ailments and its progressive treatment can be monitored in this way.

Some Common Cat Diagnostic Tests

CBC

CBC denotes complete blood count and this diagnostic test is frequently recommended for cats as it can give a great deal of information about your pet’s health. It allows the vet to know the level of red and white cells which helps your cat fight diseases and as well as about platelets. Irrespective of whether your cat is healthy or sick, this test will help the vet provide better help.

Viral Screen

This is another diagnostic test that is prescribed by the vet if your kitty is exposed to other cats, goes outdoors frequently or you have several cats in your house. The diseases that are diagnosed through this test include FeLV, FIV and FIP.

Urine Analysis

Urine analysis is performed to find out if your cat has any viral or bacterial infection. Since collecting fresh sample may be difficult, sterile urine is collected for the medical process.

This list is just a sample of general diagnosis tests for cats that can be performed to discover common cat health problems. For more comprehensive details, we suggest you consult a medical professional today.

The Virtue and Value of Patient Empowerment and Health Literacy Amidst Healthcare Reform

Patient empowerment and health literacy are important and valuable attributes for both patients and healthcare providers in today’s changing healthcare system which emphasizes improved healthcare quality, improved population health and reduced healthcare costs.

Patient empowerment is a key component of healthcare reform in that it is the development of the ability to understand and participate in one’s healthcare and health management so as to bring about improvements in both while at the same time reducing healthcare costs.

Because the current fee-for-service healthcare provider reimbursement system is currently in the process of transitioning from a volume-based system to a value-based one in which the value-based parameters are quality of care and costs, patient empowerment and health literacy are valuable to both patients and healthcare providers.

Health literacy, which is the ability of patients to understand health-related information and use that information to make informed decisions, has been well-recognized by many in the healthcare community as a valuable cofactor for the delivery of quality health care. The patient-related reason is that health literacy begets greater patient adherence to treatment instructions and better treatment outcomes. The provider-related reason is that the ability to make correct diagnoses and provide effective treatment are in large part determined by the quality of the information provided by patients, in spite of all of the diagnostic technology at our disposal.

The latter fact is supported by a study performed in the early 1990s in which internal medicine physicians performed evaluations outside of the hospital on patients with undiagnosed medical problems then compared the rate of diagnostic accuracy of the three diagnostic modalities that physicians use, i.e., the patient history, physical examination and diagnostic testing. The study showed that of the three categories of information relied on the history alone resulted in the correct diagnosis being made 76% of the time compared to accuracy rates of 12% and 11% when doctors relied on only the physical examination and diagnostic tests respectively.

Another study published in an August 2011 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association which compared the relative importance of the patient history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests showed conclusively that hospitalized patients in the study were accurately diagnosed most often when doctors relied on the history alone or the history in conjunction with the physical examination findings and/or test results. Conversely, the study showed that when physicians relied on the physical exam or test results solely or in combination accurate diagnoses were made in only a small percentage of the patients.

The quality of healthcare received by patients is oftentimes determined to a great degree by the quality of the information they provide. Proficient health literacy usually results in more accurate and relevant information which translates into more accurate diagnoses as well as timelier and more appropriate treatment.

Additionally, proficient health literacy resulting from patient empowerment reduces healthcare costs by decreasing overreliance on medical technology, unnecessary duplicate testing and costly errors resulting from actions based on incorrect or insufficient information.

As healthcare reform and healthcare payment reform continue to evolve, the value and importance of patient empowerment are likely to increase. Therefore, patients and patients’ caregivers should take the necessary steps to acquire a degree of health literacy to assume the increased patient responsibility accompanying the forces of reform.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice or a substitute for medical consultation with a qualified professional. If you are seeking legal advice or are unsure about your medical condition you should consult an attorney and/or physician.

Mental Disorders – The Importance Of Early Mental Health Diagnosis

Early mental health diagnosis can play a very important role in coping up with most mental disorders. Especially in today’s world when such health problems are common with around 25% of the population believed to be suffering from some form of psychological health problem at any point in time. Poor diagnostic, treatment and care facilities are causing great difficulties for people suffering from such disorders.

Mental health diagnosis videos are a great source of information for patients as well as health care professionals. Timely information as regards the various types of disorders and dealing with them plays a very important role in taking care of the disease. In most cases lack of proper & timely information is the major cause of confusion among people suffering from psychological disorders.

Anxiety, depression and stress are the most prominent forms of mental health disorders that are affecting people in today’s society. Timely diagnosis with the help of modern medical techniques including informative videos can help to deal with many conditions effectively. In fact, the hustle and bustle of modern-day living is exerting enormous pressure on the psychological health of members of today’s society.

There are many different types of psychological disorders, any of which could affect any one of us at any point of time in life; hence, early mental health diagnosis becomes very important. The most common type of disorder is anxiety. However, when the anxiety is so severe that it disrupts our daily lives, then it could be that we are suffering from a psychological disorder. Such conditions need immediate attention, treatment and care.

Paying attention at an early stage of the disease can prove to be of great help for the patients. It will also make it easier for the health care professionals to make accurate mental health diagnosis. In-fact, mental health care is the most neglected area in health care services sector. To have a healthy and fulfilling life, one needs to be psychologically healthy. The mental disorders can be effectively cured with timely medical intervention.

Corporate Health, Stealth and Wealth

A personal sense of well being has a huge influence on corporate engagement – their sense of self worth & contribution potential. Engagement has 3 core facets:

• intellectual engagement, or thinking hard about the job and how to do it better

• affective engagement, or feeling positively about doing a good job

• social engagement, or actively taking opportunities to discuss work-related improvements with others at work.

The secret to success – We cannot expect employee performance if not physiologically capable of performance parameters. Implicitly, corporate engagement comes down to – focus, cognitive strength, physical stamina & ability to intellectually process data. Having the ability to not let mind clutter infiltrate & sabotage their thought processes, a sense of power to want to accomplish & prove themselves all contribute to employee performance. if the body is not supporting their drive – they can’t do it and whipping the racehorse by threatening dismissal – nah that doesn’t work either.

There are some fascinating studies on testosterone levels, in both men & women, how these people are advantaged in the workplace, their intense desire to perform & move ahead. Healthy testosterone levels go along with a complete, healthy lifestyle including restorative sleep, good nutrition & a good level of physical activity.

It is very possible that a person’s diet is compromising their body’s production of serotonin, harming the gut understanding how that is affecting their focus, or simply not giving them either focus or strength to perform. People need the ability, the health, the physiological support to be engaged, but unfortunately corporate health programs are too generic, not meeting participants’ needs. Tell me, is the nutritional advice the same for a person who body builds with 10 % body fat vs. someone fearful of exercise & has a body fat of 35%? So… if they ask for a nutrition program… they get the same food guide diet?

A thorough corporate wellness program should cover a full range of health diagnostics & health counseling. Yes weight management, exercise, nutrition… but also smoking cessation, sleep, many forms of stress management, relationship stress, medical risk factors, chronic disease management, disease prevention, self efficacy, but most of all the program has to help the participant to connect the dots. So yes, the program has to be designed for the participant’s own unique combination of lifestyle & health challenges, but also provides an integrative, smooth, embraceable approach helping the participant understand how the challenges are all interrelated. The new approach will provide calm & control, inner peace & power, not be intimidating or intrusive!

A thorough assessor & assessment are extremely key to the success of the program. The 5 “A” s, Ask, Assess, Advise, Assist & Arrange – but each one needs to serve as a template for discovery & trial. It is a journey of discovery, providing deep introspection for the employee & allowing them to build their own program based on their needs. Providers have the potential of discovering issues & triggers that the participant themselves did not fathom the potential as a health saboteur.

In every form of health modification, there is a very strong dose-response relation – targeting focus & impact of the counseling is directly related to success achieving the desired health outcome. Specialized providers through a detailed lifestyle analysis can match the employee to the health coaches best suited for the person, and with the participants permission – coaches in a truly individualized program, can exchange information, ideas, protocol… all to assure consistent messages & support are being provided. The assessor can also perform as a coordinator of the entire program for the participant.

Time: A good program coordinator, provider, health coach knows that “I have no time” is an excuse. Clearly, incorrect programs have been presented before, that were not respectful of time & employee demands. Any program on any topic of health modification, must have an endless supply of creative alternatives for reaching the goal, try them out, tweak, adjust, maybe even back to the drawing board… these are all normal growing pains of a program. We have to have the rapport, the ability to capture the participant’s faith & trust t be willing to try new possibly absurd ideas… that just could work!

Meaningfulness is the most important driver of engagement for people- providing a meaningful program… designed to empower participants to self efficacy & strength, not defeat – that is how we bring out the very best in a person. No more automated superficial programs based on generalized populations – but lets get to each & everyone’s own little ecosystem!

Shira Litwack… proud creator of thousands of health & fitness enthusiasts worldwide
Medical Fitness Professional, Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach, Fitness & Nutrition for chronic illness recovery, online Health & nutritional tracking
Radio Talk Show Host/Producer bestinhealthradio
Director of Health Mentoring & External Resources Canada Obesity Control Center
Cancerfitcare Provider & Regional Director