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Guide to Continued Medical Education for Sonographers

Learning doesn’t end once you complete an academic degree. Those who are most successful in any profession are constantly upgrading their skills and knowledge in order to stay on top of new developments and to further advance their careers. The same goes for diagnostic medical sonographers (also called ultrasound technicians), radiologic technologists and other medical imaging professionals.

Student working on CME courses at computer

What is CME?

CME (continuing medical education) courses allow ultrasound technicians to gain more expertise, making them more successful in their current position as well as a worthy candidate for promotions – positions that require a more specialized skill and knowledge base.

These courses come in a variety of forms. They may be offered online, in person, or by correspondence. Some are free while others may have a tuition fee, which is often reduced for members. Some medical imaging CMEs may be related to a particular specialty while others may pertain to more general professional skills.

For example, the SDMS (Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography) offers courses in “Career Pathways” and “Interviewing Skills” as well as in “Doppler Sonography” and “Renal Pathology”.

“[CME courses are a] mechanism… to fulfill their responsibility to maintain competence and prevent professional obsolescence. Participation in CE demonstrates accountability to peers, physicians, healthcare facilities, and the public” (The ARRT).

Maintaining Certification

CME courses and their corresponding credits are required to maintain certification. The ARDMS, for example, requires that RDMS certified sonographers must complete 30 ARDMS accepted CME credits within a 3-year period. Audits are completed each year with a randomly selected group of sonographers in order to ensure compliance.

Whether it be the ARDMS, the SDMS, or one of the other sonography organizations, free CME trackers should be available on their website to help you stay on schedule as you continue your education and maintain your certificate.

CME Requirements

Here is a basic guide to the continuing medical education course requirements for maintaining credentials with some of the relevant certification bodies:

Certification Body Examples of Credentials Offered CME Requirements
ARDMS
  • RDMS
  • RDCS
  • RVT
In order to maintain credentials with the ARDMS, you generally need to complete 30 CME credits within a three-year period.
ARRT(The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists) Certifications in:

  • Sonography
  • Radiography
  • MRI
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Nuclear Medicine Technology
  • Various post-primary credentials
Generally, to maintain certification with the ARRT, you need to complete 24 CME credits every two years.
CCI(Cardiovascular Credentialing International)
  • RCS (Registered Cardiac Sonographer)
  • RVS (Registered Vascular Specialist)
  • RCCS (Registered Congenital Cardiac Sonographer)
  • CCT (Certified Cardiographic Technician)
Typically, those with “Registered” level credentials must complete 36 CME credits and those with “Certified” level credentials must complete 16 every three years.

Note: Each accrediting organization must approve of the institute or agency from where you decide to complete your medical imaging, radiology, or ultrasound CME courses.

How to Get Started

“Participation in continuing education demonstrates accountability to peers, physicians, healthcare facilities, and the public.” – ARRT

If you are thinking of pursuing a career in diagnostic medical sonography (ultrasound) or another allied health discipline, find out about ultrasound technician degrees and certifications that will lead to these fulfilling professions.

Our state schools page will help you find an educational program that meets your personal and professional needs. Additionally, below are some examples of the providers of continuing medical education courses that may meet the guidelines and qualifications set forth by your accreditation body.

Providers of Ultrasound Technician CME Courses

  • Gulfcoast Ultrasound Institute: Gulfcoast offers numerous onsite and online courses for a fee, including abdominal, OB GYN, musculoskeletal, echocardiography, vascular ultrasound CMEs and more.
  • American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine: The AIUM offers CME courses, many of which are free or offered at a reduced rate for members.
  • Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS): The SDMS offers free CME for ultrasound to its members, while others may require a fee. Topics include sonography of various specific regions of the body, ultrasound technology, pathology and more.
  • Siemens: Siemens offers online ultrasound CME courses that are either self- or instructor-guided, in areas such as obstetrics, elastography and fetal echocardiography.
  • SonoWorld: SonoWorld offers ultrasound medical education courses primarily for vascular or breast sonography.
  • Pegasus Lectures: Pegasus Lectures offers CME courses on a variety of topics, from ultrasound physics and vascular technology to adult echocardiography and certification exam preparation. Classes are delivered via a combination of live presentations and online modules.
  • Society for Vascular Ultrasound:The SVU offers a variety of vascular ultrasound CME courses for its members.

Once you have begun your career as a medical imager, it’s important to stay up to date on CME courses so that you can advance your career, maintain your certification, and be the best healthcare specialist possible.

Note: UltrasoundSchoolsInfo.com does not recommend or endorse any specific medical education course or provider.


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