How to Get More Ultrasound Experience and Training
Technology advances quickly in the medical world, so it’s never enough to graduate from an ultrasound technician program and rest on your laurels. Employers expect sonographers to keep up with the latest developments in the field, so continuing education and training is a must. If you’re wondering how to get ultrasound experience, here are some of the best ways to advance your career by getting more training in the field.
Mindray MX7 Ultrasound Machine with Touch Screen Controls User Interface
Consider Going Back to School
Nearly all ultrasound technicians have at least an associate degree in addition to their certifications, but if you want to open up more opportunities for yourself, you may want to consider a bachelor’s degree in Diagnostic Medical Imaging. Most of the credits you earned in your associate program should transfer, which means you’ll only need about two additional years of schooling to obtain your degree. These programs provide advanced clinical experience and training, putting you on track for management and leadership positions in the field.
Take Advantage of ARDMS and SDMS Resources
Most ultrasound technicians have one or more certifications from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, but ARDMS offers more than exams and credentials. Their website is a fantastic resource for staying connected and up-to-date on ultrasound technology. ASE scientific sessions offer the opportunity to earn CME credits and their career center is a great starting point for new sonographers looking to gain experience in the field.
The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) also offers its members learning opportunities for CME credit and a career center, but one of its more unique resources is its Collaborate platform. On this website, you’ll be able to network with other sonographers, ask questions, and find volunteer opportunities. As with any career, networking can help you access clinical experience and training to advance your career.
Obtain Additional Licensing and Certifications
Every ultrasound technician is familiar with ARDMS, but there are other professional organizations that offer licensing and certifications as well. The American Registry for Radiologic Technologists, Cardiovascular Credentialing International, Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology, and International Veterinary Ultrasound Society (for veterinary ultrasound machines) are four such organizations. By obtaining specialty licensing and certifications, you’ll open doors to gaining on-the-job experience and training opportunities.
Internships and Clinical Externships
If you’re still in school, internships and clinical externships are essential for the kind of experience and training that will help set you on the path for a rewarding career as an ultrasound technician. Nearly all reputable schools will require an internship or externship, and even if they do not, you’ll need this clinical experience in order to receive your certification with ARDMS. That said, there is some variation between programs, so it’s a good idea to not just meet your school’s internship or externship requirement, but exceed it to maximize your real life experience in the field.