Would you like to find out what necessary educational steps an ultrasound technician must make to start a career? If so, this brief guide outlines all of the important steps for you, and even points you toward the right programs to help you get started with your training. As a matter of fact, by following the steps outlined in this guidebook you could start a career in diagnostic medical sonography in as little as 12 months! Now doesn’t that sound like a great plan?
Education for Ultrasound Technician in Five Steps
There are five basic steps involved in the education of an ultrasound technician. A quick overview of each following in the section below.
Make Sure You Meet the Prerequisites
The very first step you’ll need to take in your journey towards a career in sonography is making sure that you meet the admission requirements for ultrasound technician schools. Because even the fast-track ultrasound certification programs last one year and are taught in a college setting, all schools will require applicants to hold either a high school diploma or GED. If you can’t meet this requirement, you’ll need to complete the classes or testing necessary to fulfill this prerequisite first.
Graduate from a CAAHEP-Accredited Ultrasound Technician School
Being eligible to work in any state as an ultrasound tech requires you to be formally certified. Before you can challenge for certification, however, you must first complete your training at an ultrasound technician school accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Your salary as an ultrasound technician could be effected by this in a positive way.
Depending on the type of credential you opt to pursue, training can take anywhere from one year (in the case of a diploma course) to four years for those interested in earning a Bachelor’s degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
Complete Your Clinical Hours
All accredited ultrasound technician programs are required to include a clinical component consisting of a specified number of hours in a live healthcare setting. During these hours, the student is required to work alongside a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) as he or she performs the basic duties required by the position. This hands-on experience is vital to the learning process, and you’ll need to show proof of having completed it before becoming eligible to sit for your certification exam.
Pass the ARDMS Certification Exam
The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, or ARDMS exam, is the standard test given to ultrasound technician candidates in all 50 states. You must successfully pass this exam in order to earn your professional credential and become eligible for employment.
Find Your First Job
The final step required for an ultrasound technician, is to prepare and submit your resume for job openings in your area. Many ultrasound programs offer assistance with job placement, so be sure to take advantage of this if it’s offered by your school!