In order to become qualified as an ultrasound technician (also known as a diagnostic medical sonographer) in Vermont, it will be necessary to pursue formal training. This training can come in the form of a two-year associate or four-year bachelor’s program from an accredited college or university. Those who have already received training in a related field like radiography have the option to earn their certification in one year. The student will have to choose a school that offers a program in their desired concentration. Sonography concentrations include:
• Fetal echocardiography
• Adult echocardiography
Ultrasound Technician Course Content and Accreditation in Vermont
Ultrasound programs will include courses on anatomy and medical terminology. Students will usually get practical training where they will learn under the tutelage of an experienced ultrasound technician or a doctor in a clinical setting. The Society for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (SDMS) states that the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) must accredit all programs for ultrasound education. CAAHEP accreditation means that the quality of the coursework and training in the accredited program has been evaluated and approved. There are no diagnostic medical sonography programs that have been accredited by CAAHEP in the state of Vermont. In order to find accredited programs, a student from Vermont must attend schools in neighboring states or earn their degree online.
Ultrasound Technician Licensure and Certification in Vermont
While Vermont is not one of the states that require ultrasound technicians to be licensed, most employers do prefer to hire those who have some kind of certification. Certification shows that the ultrasound technician has the set of skills needed to perform their job competently. The American Registry for Medical Sonography (ARDMS) is a globally recognized body that provides certification for ultrasound technicians. Graduates of sonography programs can sit for ARDMS examinations and earn credentials that are recognized throughout the healthcare industry. Among the credentials offered by the ARDMS are:
• Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS)
• Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS)
• Registered in Musculoskeletal (RMSK)
Once these credentials have been earned, they will have to be maintained; this means that the credentialed ultrasound technician will be required to demonstrate their competency on an ongoing basis. They will be required to pay a fee, prove that they are competent and also pursue continuing education.
Ultrasound Technician Scope of Practice in Vermont
Vermont’s legislature has not defined the role of an ultrasound technician but according to the SDMS, their responsibilities include:
• Preparing patients both physically and mentally for an ultrasound examination;
• Assessing patients;
• Analyzing data from the use of ultrasound and related technologies;
• Providing a summary of the obtained data to physicians as a means of diagnosis.
Ultrasound Technician Salary and Career Outlook in Vermont
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the salary for ultrasound technicians in Vermont ranges from $51,280 to $90,180 with a median salary of $69,830. The rate of employment for ultrasound technicians is projected to grow by 46 percent over the time between 2012 and 2022, which is significantly faster than the average growth rate for other occupations. Ultrasound technicians will be able to find work in hospitals, doctors’ offices and medical laboratories.