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How to Become an Ultrasound Technician in Wisconsin

If you’re a Wisconsin resident looking for a rewarding career that has a better-than-average employment outlook, you may want to consider a career as an ultrasound technician. Continue reading to learning how to become an ultrasound technician in Wisconsin.

Ultrasound Technician Requirements

Individual studying to become ultrasound technicians usually complete associate degree or bachelor’s degree programs in diagnostic medical sonography, although associate degree programs are the most common. Some schools may offer a certificate program for those already working in healthcare fields like nursing, radiography and respiratory therapy. The ultrasound technician program has the student completing coursework, practical lab experiences and a supervised internship to gain experience performing sonography exams. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)indicates that there are seven accredited ultrasound technician schools in Wisconsin.

Is Any Prior Education or Training Required?

Although ultrasound technician programs do not usually require prior educations, candidates in the program must complete any prerequisite courses. Prior to starting the clinical portion of the program, the student is usually required to have CPR certification. They may also be required to meet specific admission requirements for this program. These may include showing proof of a physical examination, current immunizations, cleared criminal background check and health insurance.

Are Ultrasound Technicians Required to be Certified?

Wisconsin does not require their ultrasound technicians be certified; however, most obtain voluntary certification to improve their employment opportunities. If students wish to become certified, it’s important that their training be from an accredited school because this is a requirement of the agencies offering the certification. The most common accrediting agency is the CAAHEP.

How Can an Ultrasound Technician Become Certified?

In order to become certified, the ultrasound technician must have completed an approved (accredited) program in sonography and must pass a certification exam. The most common certifying organization is the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), which offers a 10-year certification. Certification can also be earned through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), which offer 2-year and 3-year certifications. Students can earn both the certified and registered credential and can also obtain certification in various specialized areas of sonography.

Is Continuing Education Required?

To maintain certification, continuing education is required. ARDMS requires 30 hours of CE; AART requires 24 hours and CCI requires 36 hours. Ultrasound technicians who are certified in more than one area of sonography must complete a certain amount of hours in that particular area to maintain that certification. When completing the ARDMS continuing education, it’s important to know that this must be completed during the final three years of the 10-year period.

Low/Medium/High Salary for Ultrasound Technicians in Wisconsin

Salaries for ultrasound technicians in Wisconsin vary according to location, training and experience, but the wages in this state are slightly higher than the 2012 national average of $65,900, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As of 2012, the average salary for ultrasound technicians in Wisconsin was $77,300, with the lowest 10% earning $56,800 and the top 90% earning $94,200.

What Job Duties Can an Ultrasound Technician Perform in Wisconsin?

Ultrasound technicians perform various routine sonography exams, including abdomen, vascular, gynecological, obstetrical, and cardiac and echo cardiac. In addition to performing the procedures, the technicians prepare and calibrate the equipment, document and order inventory, record patient’s history and prepare a written summary of the test results for the physician. Ultrasound technicians may also assist physicians in performing invasive procedures for diagnostic purposes. Although ultrasound technicians are trained to recognize an abnormal sonography reading, they typically do not relay this information to the patient but leave this to the physician.

How Long Does it Take to Become an Ultrasound Technician in Wisconsin?

The length of the ultrasound technician program will depend on the type of program. Associate degree programs generally take two years to complete, while bachelor degree programs take four years to complete. Healthcare professionals who are pursuing sonography certificates can generally complete their training in one year to 18 months. Certificate programs in sonography are not as common in Wisconsin as associate and bachelor degree programs, although hospitals may offer them.