Virginia Ultrasound Technician School - VA
By RSWiese, allied health world contributing writer
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Virginia Ultrasound Technician Education
Virginia boasts both a healthy birthrate as well as an attractive environment for older adults and retirees due to the milder weather conditions, especially along the coast. There is also a strong military presence (more than 4% of the total population). There are more than 120,000 active duty and reserve personnel from the Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.
As the population grows due to childbirth and as Baby Boomers grow older, the need for diagnostic medical testing will increase. Ultrasound technicians can specialize in several areas including obstetric (neonatal), cardiac, vascular, ophthalmologic or abdominal. Medical sonography (ultrasound) is an attractive medical imaging alternative in some cases because of the safety of the process and the fact that it does not use radiation. In other cases, it offers beneficial enhancements for other types of medical imaging diagnostics. New technology such as 3D and 4D sonography also contribute to the field’s promising and exciting future.
Continuing Education Requirements for Ultrasound Technicians in Virginia
Virginia does not specifically require continuing education for Ultrasound Technicians. However, Ultrasound Technicians must earn at least 30 credits through ARDMS-approved sources every three years in order to maintain their credentials. These approved sources often include Virginia ultrasound technician schools. In addition, they must pay an annual fee to renew their registered status. The fee is $60. More specialized areas may require higher renewal fees.
Continuing Medical Education (CME) is available through various providers. Each “course” provides a certain number of credits, typically 1-4 credit per course. Some are free, others cost a nominal fee. Many courses are available online. The ARDMS website provides a list of CME providers. An Ultrasound Technician will earn 15 CME credits by earning an additional credential or passing a specialty examination.
Currently the ARDMS is investigating the possibility and necessity of requiring evidence-based competency exams for re-certification for Ultrasound Technicians. This is to ensure that registered technicians are not only maintaining their continuing education requirements, but are also putting into practice what they learn for ongoing excellent patient care and standard industry practices. No such evidence-based examination is required at present, but that is likely to change in the future.