Ultrasound technicians, who are also known as ultrasonographers, assist doctors in assessing/diagnosing certain complicated medical conditions by capturing images of the concerned internal tissue/organ through ultrasound imaging technology. Ultrasound technician certification is important to become a qualified technician.
About the certification
A licensure is not mandated by any state for performing diagnostic medical sonography, but an ultrasound technician certification is almost always insisted upon by an employer to establish the fact that the sonographer is registered (Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer or RDMS) and he/she has been objectively measured for his/her capabilities.
Schools that have sonogram technician certification programs on their agenda offer a combination of clinical and academic training in course of one, two/three and four year programs for offering Certificate, Associate or Bachelor’s degree to the candidates, explicitly including Obstetric Sonography, Abdominal Sonography, Vascular Sonography, fetal/neo-natal anomalies, general physics & anatomy and relevant medical terminology in the curriculum.
Most jobs in the field, however, require an Associate degree from eligible applicants. Those who wish to choose between the other two are welcome to do so, but they should have a specific purpose for choosing those degrees.
A one-year certification in diagnostic medical sonography accredited by CAAHEP transfers to the learner a knowledge of ultrasound operational technology and its usage, for producing images of (internal) tissues/organs captured through hi-frequency sound waves.
A typical Certification course will cover Anatomy & Physiology for Sonography, Cardio-vascular Sonography, Obstetric Sonography, Abdominal Sonography, Pulmonary Sonography and Acoustic Physics.
2-Year Associate Degree program
A 2-Year Associate Degree program for ultrasound technician certification teaches candidates intricacies of the imaging technology plus accurate medical terminology and skills needed to maneuver/operate ultrasonography equipment and conduct medical diagnosis.
Technical aspects of Vascular/Abdominal/Obstetric and Small-parts Sonography are mainly taught during the course.
4-year Bachelor’s program
The 4-year Bachelor’s degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography is an option to extra-specialize and/or advance in a Sonography technician career. This is for individuals who want to pursue this as their primary career or for those who are not specializing in any other medical field.
To participate in this certification program, a candidate is needed to complete a 2-year allied health program in Sonography, Nuclear-medicine technology or Radiation therapy and be a RDMS too.
Coursework involves study in biology, physics, medical terminology, equipment and interaction with patients in relation to ultrasound technology and imaging.
Typically, a Bachelor’s degree in Ultrasound includes internship and/or clinical experiences, but in the course of an ‘Advanced Placement’ program, this is not a mandate because of prior work experience.
Ultrasound techs must always take CEUs (Continuing Education units) for keeping their existing certifications upgraded. This is the only way for them to stay updated with the latest technology and procedures in Sonography.