Currently, California does not have a certification requirement in ultrasound technology. However, to be a competitive candidate in the industry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, it is beneficial to be trained in an accredited program. Furthermore, registration is often required by employers from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Once you become registered with the ARDMS by examination, Sonographers earn the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (RDMS) credential. The following is a description of necessary steps of how to become an ultrasound technician in California and earn the RDMS credential.
Determine your prerequisite path in order to be eligible to take an ARDMS examination. An example of one prerequisite path is graduation from a single two-year allied health education program that is patient-care related. The documentation required from this path is an official transcript, a copy of the official education certificate, credential, or license, an original letter from the educational program director indicating completion of the clinical/vascular experience with dates, and an original signed and completed clinical verification (CV) form for each appropriate specialty area.
Fully complete the online application and pay the application fee, which is currently $200. You must pass two examinations. One is the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) examination. This exam has 120 multiple-choice questions and is 2 hours in length. Secondly, a specialty examination within the RDMS credential must be successfully passed, as well. Examples of the specialty exams are abdomen, breast, fetal echocardiography, neurosonology, and obstetrics and gynecology. These exams vary in length and amount of multiple-choice questions. You can prepare for the examinations by conducting practice exams available on the ARDMS website. After successful completion of the above steps, you are now qualified to be a competitive candidate in ultrasound technology/Diagnostic Medical Sonography career market.