1. Love helping people.

In this job you will meet people from all walks of life. You need to really enjoy working with people.

2. Love working with technology.

Ultrasound is an emerging field that is characterized by using some of the most amazing and cutting edge technology around.

3. Love to learn.

In this job if you don’t learn something new about the body, people or medicine then you aren’t trying. I love this field for the fact that it always changes. Every day you have to learn about how an organ works or a new disease process or even new treatments that change how we view the body. It’s amazing the amount of knowledge you will have as well as the amount that you will be required to learn on an ongoing basis.

If you have the first 3 down then you can move on to the next section.

4. Find a school that offers a great Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.

Ultrasound is more popular than ever so it’s much easier to find a school than ever.

5.  Determine what the Prerequisites for the Program are.

Before you can start the program there are classes that most institutions deem necessary first. General they are basic biology, chemistry, math, anatomy (learn as much as you can here. Sonographers are basically anatomists) and other’s like this. Some programs roll them all together but many require you to finish these before you can even apply for a spot in the program.

6. Complete the program.

This step is a lot more difficult than you imagine. Did I mention you need to know anatomy. Seriously, start learning anatomy now and you will save yourself headaches later. There are a lot of types of programs from Certificates to Associate or Bachelors degrees.

7. Clinical rotation.

This step may be combined with step 6. Many programs have the clinical rotation set into the class schedule so you complete everything at one time. Some finish coursework first and then the clinical rotation afterwards. Either way this is where you get hands on and really get a feeling for the Job. Typically this is 9 months to a year.

One caveat is this. If you are doing an online or distance learning program you may be required to find your own clinical site. This is just a place where you can get hands on training. Whether in a local hospital or clinic. Some institutional programs also require the student to set up a clinical site before they can enter the program. Make sure you know whether or not this  is the case. It’s a good idea to create a relationship with the department you will work in when your program starts.

8. Take your Ultrasound Physics (Sonographic Principles and Instrumentation – SPI) exam.

This tends to be the first step in becoming a registered Sonographer. Either right before or right after graduation. The ARDMS has allowed students to take this exam before graduation. A few years ago you would have to wait to take this. If you wait until after graduation you can take any exam you want but you are not Registered until you take the SPI and a Specialty exam.

9. Find a job.

Your first job will depend on the needs of the community in the area that you choose to work. Many students are able to find work at the institution that they completed their clinical rotations. We advise you to treat that year as a year long job interview.

There are many options for Sonographers.

The most common are hospitals, outpatient radiology clinics, private physician practices as well as the many public clinics.

10. Get registered.

The ARDMS is the most highly sought after credential. We provide materials to help prepare you to take the exams that the ARDMS administers. In the past it wasn’t necessary to be registered to work as a Sonographer. Technically it still isn’t, there is no law, but with a competitive job marketplace any advantage is valuable. Being a registered Sonographer is just one more qualification that you can have that shows potential employers that you are serious.

There are many registries available.

Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer – RDMS

  • Abdomen (AB)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN)
  • Neurosonology (NE)
  • Breast (BR)

Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer – RDCS

  • Fetal Echocardiography (FE)
  • Adult Echocardiography (AE)
  • Pediatric Echocardiography (PE)

Registered Vascular Technologist – RVT

  • Vascular Technology (VT)

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I am the founder and lead Instructor here at ExamRefresh.com. I strive to help those that are entering the field of Ultrasound to be the best that they can be. Ultrasound is my passion.

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