Ultrasound and Sonography CME Courses in 2024: The Ultimate Guide

A Guide to Continued Medical Education for Sonographers

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As an ultrasound or sonography professional, staying up-to-date with the latest advancements and techniques is essential for providing high-quality patient care. Continuing medical education (CME) courses are necessary for maintaining your certification and enhancing your skills. 

In 2024, a wide range of ultrasound and sonography CME courses will be available, offering diverse formats and specialized topics to meet the diverse needs of professionals in this field.  This guide will help you go through the steps involved in continued medical education for sonographers and the requirements set by the U.S. 

CME (Continuing Medical Education)

CME involves ongoing educational activities for healthcare professionals to maintain and enhance their knowledge and skills. It ensures they stay current with the latest advancements and best practices. 

The American Medical Association (AMA) classifies CME credits into two categories:

  • Category 1 Credits: Earned from accredited CME providers.
  • Category 2 Credits: Earned from non-accredited activities.

Typically, one CME credit equals one hour of instruction.

CME Requirements for Ultrasound and Sonography Professionals

  • The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS): 30 CME credits every 3 years. Both Category A and A+ credits from ARDMS-accepted cases are allowed.
  • The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT): 24 Category A or A+ credits every 2 years.
  • Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI): 36 CMEs every 3 years for the “Registered” level; 16 CMEs for the “Certified” level.
  • Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Certifications: Requirements from providers like the Alliance for Physician Certification & Advancement (APCA).

Leading CME providers like the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) and the Institute for Advanced Medical Education (IAME) offer a wide range of accredited courses for sonographers.

Top Providers of Ultrasound and Sonography CME Training in 2024

In the year 2024, there are a number of organizations that are majoring on the provision of high-quality ultrasound and sonography continuing medical education courses:

American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM)

AIUM is an established organization, offering CME courses in ultrasound. It offers webinars on demand, customized training options, and a large online learning center. They vary from obstetric and gynecologic ultrasound to newly developed technologies.

Institute for Advanced Medical Education (IAME)

IAME aims to provide unlimited CME opportunities with respect to course availability and audit protection. Their ultrasonographic courses provide comprehensive coverage while remaining adaptable enough to meet the needs of different individuals.

Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU)

SVU specializes in vascular ultrasound teaching. The society holds annual meetings, offers online resources for CME credits as well as extensive vascular imaging/diagnostic training.

Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS)

SDMS is a prominent provider of sonographic educational programs that include an annual conference, registry review series, clinical review resources, and derived from various specialities CME offerings.

Course Formats and Delivery Methods

To meet the diverse learning preferences and busy schedules, varying formats for ultrasound and sonography CME courses are available:

In-Person Conferences and Workshops: The UltraCon 2024 and SVU Annual Conference are examples of in-person conferences that provide networking opportunities. Also, regional workshops as well as hands-on training sessions are offered.

Online and On-Demand Learning: AIUM’s Online Learning Center or SDMS’s CME Tracker is one of the platforms that allow professionals to have enough time for studies through accessible systems thus doing examinations from anywhere.

Hybrid Learning Opportunities: Philips gives an example of such providers that offer hybrid courses where hands-on sessions are included in online modules in order to facilitate the overall learning process.

Specializations and Advanced Topics in CME Courses

In addition to general ultrasound and sonography education, many providers offer specialized courses as well as advanced topics designed for those who want to stay at the top of their profession:

Obstetric and Gynecologic Ultrasound: These courses teach basic skills, advanced techniques along with new guidelines regarding obstetric ultrasound.

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound: Providers like SonoSim offer interactive, multimedia training in musculoskeletal ultrasound, covering regional anatomy, sonographic anatomy, and cutting-edge techniques.

Vascular Ultrasound: SVU’s courses delve deep into vascular imaging and diagnostics, equipping professionals with advanced skills in this specialized area.

Emerging Technologies and Innovations: Courses on emerging technologies, such as AI in ultrasound and elastography, keep professionals informed about the latest advancements and their impact on patient care.

Steps to Continued Medical Education for Sonographers
Steps to Continued Medical Education for Sonographers

STEP 1: VERIFY YOUR ELIGIBILITY

Before you begin the continued medical education for sonographers process, the first step is to verify your eligibility with the respective board in the state. The eligibility criteria for sonographers set for continuing education are the following: 

  • The candidate must maintain ARDMS credentials by earning the minimum required number of ARDMS-accepted CME within your three-year CME period
  • The CME requirements for physician credentials change depending on combinations of ARDMS credentials, APCA RMSK, and RPVI credentials are included below.
  • RDMS or RDCS or RVT: 30 ARDMS/APCA-accepted CME. 
  • RMSKS + RDMS or RDCS or RVT: 10 ARDMS/APCA-accepted CME in musculoskeletal ultrasound
  • Ultrasound and 20 ARDMS/APCA-accepted CME in any of the specialty areas (30 in total). 
  • RPVI + RDMS or RDCS or RVT: 30 ARDMS/APCA-accepted CME in vascular ultrasound.

STEP 2: RECORD YOUR CE HOURS

Once the eligibility is verified for continued education, the next step is to record the continuing education hours. Keeping track of and recording your continuing education hours is very important because it can help you during your sonography license renewal in a particular state.  

Candidates can log and keep track of their continuing education hours without having a professional account. Using the free account may keep your account simple while keeping track of your continuing education hours.

The board must submit a report on your behalf if you take a continuing education course from a provider that has received state approval. If you enroll in a course offered by a national organization, it is your responsibility to inform the relevant board that the system has been completed.

STEP 3: APPLY FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION 

After you have recorded your continuing education hours, the next step is to apply for continued medical education for sonographers. The candidates must make sure that the continuing education provider is approved by the state for sonography. The candidate should review the ARDMS’ accepted continuing medical education before participating in the particular activity.

Continuing medical education providers provide both free programs and fee programs. The following are some of the free CMEs:

  • American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM).
  • Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS).
  • Gulfcoast Ultrasound Institute.
  • Society for Vascular Ultrasound.
  • International Center for Postgraduate Medical Education (ICPME). 

The following are some of the fee CMEs:

  • Owen Brown’s Workshops in Cardiac and Vascular Ultrasound.
  • Pacific Vascular Institute for Continuing Medical Education.
  • Sonography of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS).
  • World Academy of Pain Medicine Ultrasonography (WAPMU).
  • The Burwin Institute of Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound. 

STEP 4: RENEW YOUR LICENSE WITH CE

The final step in continued medical education for sonographers is to apply for sonography license renewal in a particular state with the continuing education hours you have completed. Some of the CME documents you must include at the time of application for sonography license renewal are the following:

  • Candidate’s full name
  • Candidate ID number
  • Date of course or activity
  • Name of an organization that ARDMS has approved as a sponsor
  • Title of the course or activity
  • The number of credit hours awarded 

Now you may be aware of the steps involved in earning continued medical education for sonographers in your particular state. 

Maximize the CME Value

After considering these tips, you will be able to make the most out of your ultrasound and sonography CME courses.

Tips for Efficient Learning:

  • Use AIUM and SDMS CME trackers to manage your credits effectively.
  • Select high-yield courses that match with your career goals and areas of interest.

Seek balance between work and study by exploring online and on-demand alternatives that fit well into your schedule.

Networking Opportunities:

Participate in conferences and workshops so as to interact with peers and professionals in the field who may become useful acquaintances or references.

Join online forums and discussion groups to widen your network while keeping yourself updated about new trends being set by medical imaging technology, techniques, regulations etc.

Long-term Career Benefits

Continuing education is crucial for personal development and  job satisfaction, as it keeps you at par with current practices in patient care provision through enhancing knowledge levels among others skills.

By maintaining certification as well as staying updated on changes taking place within this sector one can access varied career prospects thus finding a way forward.

Wrapping Up 

Continuing education helps all sonographers to learn and equip the skills and knowledge required to perform well at work. Additionally, it makes you stand out from your workplace. Prior to submitting a renewal application for your license, make sure to keep track of and record your continuing education. Continued medical education for sonographers helps educate them with new information and practices being used in the sonography industry. 

If you are interested in taking the SPI exam or know someone who is planning to take the SPI exam, make sure to refer to our free SPI practice test to help you prepare. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. HOW DO I CLAIM CME CREDITS?

To claim CME credits, you’ll typically need to submit proof of attendance or completion, such as a certificate, to the relevant credentialing body. Many providers offer an online portal or transcript service to easily claim your earned credits.

2. HOW CAN I CHECK MY CME CREDITS? 

Most credentialing organizations like ARDMS and ARRT provide an online system or account area where you can login and view your current CME credit status and transcript. Be sure to regularly check this to ensure you’re on track for renewal.

3. HOW CAN I PRACTICE FOR THE SPI EXAM?

By creating a study plan and using mock exams to advance your preparation, you can start getting ready for the SPI exam. For more effective exam preparation, take a look at our free SPI practice test.

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