What is Involved in Ultrasound Training?

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  • Written By: Josie Myers
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 December 2018
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Ultrasound training is a relatively short, yet highly involved process. Medical standards are very high and students must perform at their best in order to pass. Training involves some classroom coursework and is largely hands-on with clinical rotations.

Ultrasound is most associated with pregnancy, when parents get the first glimpse of their baby during their routine ultrasounds. However, it is also used to diagnose a number of medical ailments including kidney and liver diseases or issues like kidney stones. Since it is non-invasive and shows virtually instant results, the uses for ultrasound have expanded as the medical profession has become more innovative.

Programs offering ultrasound training need to be accredited by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Technicians who pass the program and apply to be registered with ARDMS become known as Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (RDMS). This accreditation provides a competitive advantage when job seeking. Those studying have the option to have a certificate, a two-year or four-year degree at the completion of their program.

To be accepted to ultrasound training, many schools require students to have an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in science or health care. Many nurses turn to an ultrasound training program to have additional options open for their career. There are schools that do not require a medical background, but students without one should anticipate a larger class load in order to compensate for their lack of experience.


It is common to have at least two 8-hour days of classes a week. These classes typically include coursework in topics like anatomy, physics, medical ethics, patient care, and physiology. In most ultrasound training programs, students are expected to maintain a minimum of a 2.0, or C average.

Clinical training is hands-on training that takes place in a hospital, university or other health care center. Students generally rotate among various types of radiology departments in order to experience as many different situations first hand as possible. These usually include: abdominal sonography, neurosonography, obstetric and gynecologic sonography, ophthalmologic sonography, and vascular technology or echocardiography. Some programs allow a technician to specialize in one of these areas.

Many schools place additional emphasis on learning administrative tasks since this is usually a part of being a technician. The ability to properly handle sensitive patient records is a must. Clinics and hospitals expect the utmost professionalism and organization out of their technicians, and the schools do their best to ensure that a high quality of technician leaves their classrooms.



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