Becoming an Ultrasound Technician in Alabama - AL
Steps to Become an Ultrasound Tech in Alabama
- Take the American College Test (ACT). All high school graduates must take the ACT if they plan on going to college. Future Ultrasound Technicians should take special care when preparing for the American College Test, as their admittance to a diagnostic sonography training program in Alabama is heavily weighted on their ACT score and high school grade point average.
- Obtain a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Since ultrasound technician courses in Alabama are offered through community colleges and private campus based and online institutions, applicants must obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent. Aspiring ultrasound technicians in Alabama should have a strong background in interpersonal communications, English, mathematics, and human anatomy and physiology, and they should strive to do well in all these courses. A high GPA means that students will have a better chance at gaining entrance into a program.
- Become certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The State of Alabama requires all its ultrasound technicians to be certified in CPR for health providers. CPR classes are usually available through the American Red Cross, local fire departments, community colleges, high schools, private institutions, and other facets within the community. Candidates can obtain their certificates within a few weeks, and they must renew their certifications every two years.
- Be in good health, undergo a full physical examination, and get vaccinated for Hepatitis B. Applicants in Alabama must submit a full physical examination form before they can be admitted to a program. They must also supply their certifying institution with proof of being current with all their vaccinations, including Hepatitis B. Students should start their Hepatitis B vaccination series six months before they apply to a program.
- Pass a criminal background check and drug test. All diagnostic medical sonography programs in Alabama require students to pass a criminal background check and drug test. The background check and drug test are typically conducted by the admitting college, unless the college instructs students to do otherwise.
- Get an Associate's degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography from a CAAHEP-approved community college. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs is a primary resource for anyone who plans on pursuing a career in allied health. There are three CAAHEP-accredited programs in Alabama that focus on building interpersonal skills and developing the students' knowledge of key concepts. These programs will also provide students experience in the field.
- Become licensed as a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS). Once students complete their DMS degrees, they must pass the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) exam and the RDMS Exam, which are offered through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
a. SPI Exam. The SPI exam measure's an Ultrasound Technician's basic understanding of sonography instrumentation and techniques. Applicants must have gone through an accredited DMS program before they take this exam, and provide the ARDMS with a transcript.
b. RDMS Exam. As soon as applicants pass the SPI exam, they must take the RDMS exam, focusing on either breast, abdomen, fetal echocardiography, neurosonology, or obstetrics and gynecology.