Considering a career in ultrasound? Here’s what you need to know about the training and skills required to become an ultrasound technician.
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Before you can start a rewarding career as an ultrasound technician, you must first complete the necessary education and training. This includes completing an accredited ultrasound Technician program. Once you have completed the necessary education, you will then need to obtain certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
Research schools that offer the right program
There are many schools across the country that offer ultrasound technician programs but not all of them are accredited. You’ll want to make sure you choose a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). These two organizations are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as accrediting agencies for ultrasound technician programs.
You’ll also want to make sure the program you choose offers hands-on training in addition to classroom instruction. Many programs now offer online courses, but you’ll still want to make sure you have the opportunity to get some hands-on experience before you graduate. And, when you’re looking at programs, be sure to ask about job placement assistance. Some schools have relationships with hospitals and clinics that can help you get a job after graduation.
Make sure the school is properly accredited
When looking at schools that offer ultrasound technology programs, make sure that the school is properly accredited. This means that the school has been evaluated by an outside agency and found to meet certain standards. Different schools will have different accreditations, so you’ll want to make sure that the one you’re looking at has the right accreditation for your needs.
One accreditation you’ll want to look for is from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The CAAHEP is recognized by the united states Department of Education, and they offer accreditation specifically for ultrasound technician programs. Make sure that the program you’re interested in is listed on their website before you apply.
Another important accreditation to look for is regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is different from CAAHEP accreditation in that it covers the entire school, not just specific programs. Schools with regional accreditation have been evaluated by one of six regional agencies and found to meet certain standards. This type of accreditation is important because it means that the credits you earn at the school will be transferable if you decide to continue your education later on.
You should also make sure that any clinical experience required as part of your program will be done at a facility that meets applicable standards. For example, if you’re planning to do your clinical experience in a hospital, make sure that hospital has been accredited by The Joint Commission.
Consider online and hybrid programs
With the technological advances in how information is shared, more and more reputable schools are offering hybrid and online programs. These programs allow you to complete most, if not all, of your coursework online with periodic visits to a brick-and-mortar campus for labs and clinical rotations. This type of scheduling is often ideal for working adults who may find it difficult to attend on-campus classes full time. If you are considering an online or hybrid program, make sure that the school is accredited by CAAHEP or JRCERT.
Certification is not required in all states, but most employers prefer or require certification. Certification shows that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform the job. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) offers certification in diagnostic medical sonography.
Learn about the different types of certification
There are several different types of certification available for ultrasound technicians. The type of certification you will need will depend on the state in which you plan to work. In some states, certification is not required at all. However, most employers prefer to hire technicians who are certified by one of the nationally recognized certifying organizations.
The two most common certifying organizations are the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Both of these organizations have rigorous certification exams that candidates must pass in order to earn their credential.
In addition to passing a certification exam, ultrasound technicians may also be required to complete continuing education requirements in order to maintain their credential. These requirements vary by state and certifying organization, but typically require completion of a certain number of credits every few years.
Choose the right certification for you
There are two main types of certification for ultrasound technicians: Registered diagnostic medical sonographer (RDMS) and Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS). To sit for either exam, you must first complete an accredited ultrasound program. Once you have completed your training, you can then decide which exam is right for you and your career goals.
The RDMS credential is offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) and covers a broad range of specialties, including abdomen, obstetrics & gynecology, breast, cardiology, fetal echocardiography, musculoskeletal and neonatal intensive care. In order to become credentialed, you must pass both a written and skills-based exam in your chosen specialty.
The RVS credential is offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and focuses specifically on vascular sonography. To become credentialed, you must pass a written exam covering vascular sonographic physics and instrumentation, patient care, vascular anatomy and physiology, diagnostic procedures and scanning protocols. A skills-based registry examination is not required for the RVS credential.
Once you have decided which credential is right for you, you can begin studying for your chosen exams. A variety of study resources are available to help you prepare, including review courses, practice exams and study guides. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to study—ultrasound technology is a complex field and certification exams can be challenging. With adequate preparation, however, you can confidently earn the credential that will help launch your career in ultrasound.
Get certified by a recognized organization
There are many different ways to become an ultrasound technician, but one of the most important things you can do is get certified by a recognized organization. This will ensure that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform your job effectively.
There are a number of different organizations that offer certification for ultrasound technicians. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) is one of the most well-known and respected organizations in this field. To become certified by the ARDMS, you must pass an examination that tests your knowledge of sonography.
The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) is another organization that offers certification for ultrasound technicians. To become certified by the NCCA, you must pass an examination that tests your knowledge of sonography and your ability to perform certain tasks.
In addition to these two organizations, there are a number of other organizations that offer certification for ultrasound technicians. These include the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), the American College of Radiology (ACR), and the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS).
You need to have diagnostic medical sonographer experience in order to become an ultrasound tech This experience can be gained through working in a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office. You will need to have a thorough understanding of medical terms and procedures. You should also be proficient in using ultrasound equipment.
Get experience in the field
One way to become an ultrasound technician is to get experience in the field. This can be done by working as a medical assistant or a patient care technician in a hospital or outpatient setting. Once you have experience, you can then apply to ultrasound tech schools. There are many community colleges and vocational schools that offer certification and associate degree programs in diagnostic medical sonography.
Consider an externship
An externship is a great way to get training and experience in the field of ultrasound technology. Many hospitals offer externship programs for those interested in pursuing a career in this field. Externships usually last between two and six weeks, and during this time you will shadow an experienced ultrasound technician and learn about the various aspects of the job. This is a great way to see if this career is right for you, and it can also give you a leg up when applying for jobs after graduation.
Get a job in the field
Many ultrasound technicians start their careers as health care assistants or in another related field. This can give you the opportunity to get a feel for the work and decide if it’s the right fit for you before committing to a longer training program. Once you’ve decided to become an ultrasound technician, there are a few different paths you can take.