Medical sonography training can be obtained by applying for and completing an educational program that provides classroom time as well as opportunities for clinical experience. rerequisites vary by program, and should be met prior to applying for a training program, but a high school degree or its equivalent is usually mandatory. Experience working in a medical field is helpful, as is a background in math, science, or medical studies.
In the United States, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredits diagnostic medical sonography programs. This is the starting point for researching approved programs that will prepare students to sit for the RDMS examination, which is administered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).
Keep in mind that in the U.S., many employers tend to hire sonographers that have been trained at institutions that are accredited by the CAAHEP. Though this is not the case with every employer, it is best to research the local job market and find out who employers prefer to hire. Many one-year training or certification programs are not accredited, which could be a hindrance for a job seeker. Some of these shorter medical sonography training programs are located within hospitals or clinical settings.
Vocational colleges are a popular choice for students interested in medical sonography training as they tend to quickly and efficiently move students through either a certification or an associate's degree program. Students are usually well-prepared to sit for the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer examination, which is known as the RDMS.
The cost and length of training fluctuates from one program to the next, and it is best to research a number of programs, as well as learn about financial aid and job placement assistance offered by a school or organization.
Some universities have four-year degree programs in medical sonography training, which can result in a higher-paying position upon entering the work force. Again, some research should be done to learn more about the prerequisites, cost, and other pertinent details of a training program, especially when dedicating at least four years to training.
Sonography training programs have unique requirements and examinations according to country. For example, to study ultrasound or sonography in Australia a person must have an undergraduate degree in nursing, biomedical science, medical imaging, or diagnostic radiography. Various universities in Australia offer a Diploma of Medical Ultrasound (DMU). The governing or accrediting body for this profession is the Australian Society for Ultrasound Medicine (ASUM).
A career in medical sonography is one that offers good pay, benefits, and opportunities for advancement. Regardless of where training and employment takes place, medical sonographers have a bright future in medicine, working in hospitals, clinics, and doctor offices.