Ultrasound Technician Requirements:–Get ARDMS Certification Or Be Jobless!

You might be surprised to learn that ultrasound technicians do not require any kind of licensing to practice their exciting medical profession, which means that once you complete your ultrasound training program, you then automatically become an Ultrasound Technician or, rather say, a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer.

However, in the absence of state licensing provisions for ultrasound technicians, the ARDMS, which stands for American Registry of Medical Sonography, has taken the responsibility to issue a certification exam that would determine whether a just-graduated ultrasound tech is worthy of wearing this title or not. So, every ultrasound-wannabes would ultimately have to face this ARDMS exam in order to fulfill all the ultrasound technician requirements for getting employed.

# How Does Getting ARDMS Certification Make Your Ultrasound Career More Prospective?

Frankly speaking, an ultrasound technician, without the certification from the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, is incomplete. It does not matter what ultrasound program you may have graduated from, be it a Certificate level program or an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree ultrasound program; what matters most is whether you have got the ARDMS certification in your pocket.

If you posses the ARDMS certification, then getting yourself employed would be like a child’s play. Just knock at the door of any healthcare institution, which has the job vacancy for an Ultrasound Technician and, then, you would be welcomed with open arms. But, in case, you do not have any ARDMS certification to be proud of, then, try as hard as you may, it would be almost impossible for you to find a job.

Ultrasound Technician Requirements

Thus, in essence, you can regard the ARDMS certification as the golden key that brightens up your ultrasound technician career. With one look at your ARDMS certification, employers would hire you straightaway without asking you any questions like–“Where did you receive your ultrasound schooling?”

# Ultrasound Technician Requirements to Participate in the ARDMS Certification Exam!

There are just about 2 ways to gain eligibility for participating in the ARDMS certification exam, which are as follows:–

Graduation from a CAAHEP approved ultrasound technician school:–

To tell you the truth, only those ultrasound technicians, who have completed a CAAHEP accredited ultrasound training program, are bestowed the eligibility to challenge the ARDMS certification exam. This means that once you graduate from a CAAHEP accredited ultrasound school, you would be able to sit in the ARDMS exam without any inconvenience.

That’s why it is highly recommended for any sonographer-wannabes to get themselves enrolled in only the ultrasound schools, which have been favored with the accreditation from the CAAHEP i.e. Council for Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

As a side note, let me inform you that there are, at present, exactly 200 ultrasound technician programs (including 3 online ultrasound technician schools and 1 ultrasound tech online hospital/clinical program), which have managed to bag the accreditation from the CAAHEP. Graduating from any one of these CAAHEP accredited ultrasound schools is regarded as the most important ultrasound technician requirements, the fulfillment of which would, at once, let you take part in the ARDMS exam for getting registered.

What if you have graduated from an unaccredited ultrasound program–Can you still take the ARDMS certification exam?

The answer to the above question is– Yes, you can! However, you, as a graduate from an ultrasound program not accredited by CAAHEP, won’t be eligible to sit in the ARDMS certification exam until you have fulfilled certain ultrasound technician requirements issued by the ARDMS.

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And, this alternative ARDMS requirement demands the ultrasound technicians to spend at least 1 whole year doing clinical work in a hospital or other ultrasound facilities, which has gain the approval from the SDMS i.e. Society for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

Mind you, this alternative route to becoming eligible for the ARDMS exam is a hard one and you, like your predecessors, would more than once lament the fact that you enrolled in a sonography program not accredited by CAAHEP.

# Becoming a Registered Sonographer:–Are you ready to challenge the ARDMS certification exam?

Each and every ultrasound technicians, upon the completion of their ultrasound tech training program, would ultimately have to face the ARDMS exam in order to get registered. So, it is natural to be curious about what lies ahead in the ARDMS certification exam.

Now, for your information, the certification exam administered by the ARDMS contains 2 main portions; the first one is the SPI (i.e. Sonography Principles and Instrumentation) exam whereas the other one is the Specialty exam. The candidates are expected to pass both of these exams so as to get registered through the ARDMS.

Note:–The ultrasound technicians are at liberty to take these 2 exams in their desired order. For instance, you may first take the SPI exam and then the specialty exam or vice versa. However, once you complete any one of these 2 exams, then you are expected to pass the remaining exam within the time period of 5 years.

Short Details of the SPI exam:–What to expect in the SPI exam?

The Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) exam is designed to test the ultrasound technicians’ knowledge regarding the sonography instrumentation and the principles of sonography.

Ultrasound technicians, who sit for this SPI exam, would be faced with the challenge of completing exactly 120 questions in exactly 120 minutes i.e. 2 hours. In other words, you will have 1 minute for each questions.

Short Details of the Specialty exam:–What to expect in the Specialty exam?

After taking the SPI exam, you would be required to take a corresponding specialty exam in order to gain certain ultrasound credentials.

For instance, if you desire to wear the title of a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS), then you would have to take specialty exams concerning any of the general ultrasound fields like Abdomen, Breast, Neurosonology, Fetal Echocardiography or OB/GYN (i.e. Obstetrics and Gynecology).

Similarly, if you want to earn the credentials of the Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS), then you can take specialty exam on any one of the 3 cardiac ultrasound fields i.e. Pediatric Echocardiography, Adult Echocardiography or Fetal Echocardiography.

Likewise, there is also the specialty exam concerning vascular technology, passing which would bestow you with the title of Registered Diagnostic Vascular Sonographer (RDVS).

Aside from the above mentioned ultrasound credentials, the ARDMS also has the provision of appointing the ultrasound technicians with the credentials of Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI) and Registered in Musculoskeletal (RMSK). But, in order to wear these credentials, the ultrasound technicians are not required to sit for the SPI exam; instead, they would have to face the Musculoskeletal Sonography (MSS) exam or the Physicians’ Vascular Interpretation (PVI) exam accordingly.

# Ultrasound Technician Requirements:–ARDMS Recertification Policy!

There used to be a time when recertification was not required for the ultrasound technicians. But, now, the year 2010 has brought forth additional ultrasound technician requirements, which demands the ultrasound techs to maintain their certification.

In other words, the ultrasound technicians would have to complete 30 ultrasound education credits, within the time range of 3 years, so as to make the status of their ARDMS certification active.

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