Syllabus for the SPI Exam: A Comprehensive Guide 

Syllabus for the SPI Exam: A Comprehensive Guide

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Are you planning to take the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) exam? Are you preparing for the SPI exam, but are confused about the syllabus, and how to prepare for it? Wondering what to learn and expect on the SPI exam. 

In this article, you will learn more about the SPI exam which has all the required information you need to learn more about it. 

Educational Requirements 

For sonography, it is mandatory to obtain either an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree, and you must be at least 16 years of age. There are a lot of courses available with specialization. 

Completing a diagnostic medical sonography certificate program. Both educational courses tailored to diagnostic medical sonography training and clinical experiences are part of certificate programs. The colleges, universities, and teaching hospitals provide certificate programs.

Future Scope 

Consideration of a profession in sonography is usually a wise move. Sonography has constantly gained importance in the medical field since its invention over 30 years ago. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth in the industry, which is stable. The employment of sonographers is projected to have a growth of 10 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all other occupations. 

The SPI Exam

The SPI Exam is also referred to as the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation Examination (SPI). Let’s discuss the SPI Exam. Following are some of the essential details regarding the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation Examination (SPI):

  • The SPI exam is a multiple-choice question (MCQ) format. 
  • The exam consists of 110 multiple-choice questions (MCQs).
  • The duration of the SPI exam is two hours to complete the 110 questions, which includes three minutes for the survey. 

Syllabus Covered for the SPI Exam 

The Sonography Principles and Instrumentation Examination (SPI) consists of 5 major categories. They include 

Syllabus for the SPI Exam
Syllabus for the SPI Exam
  • Clinical safety.
  • Physical principles.
  • Ultrasound transducers. 
  • Imaging principles and instrumentation.
  • Doppler imaging concepts. 

CLINICAL SAFETY

The clinical safety section makes up approximately 10% of the SPI questions. This process identifies the potential bioeffects. Modifies output power following the ALARA principle. Apply infection control precautions and disinfectant techniques. 

SKILLS TO HAVE: 

  • Knowledge of sterile technique.
  • Bioeffects and ALARA. 
  • Knowledge of gold standards.
  • Doppler flow phantoms and tissue-mimicking phantoms.
  • Must know parameters for transducer element integrity tests.

PATIENT CARE 

Analyze clinical history. Demonstrate the appropriate patient care communication skills, and analyze prior imaging studies.

QUALITY ASSURANCE 

This process includes applying concepts for conducting performance tests with doppler flow phantoms, and tissue-mimicking phantoms. Evaluation of statistical parameters concepts is applied. 

NEW TECHNOLOGIES

Identifying ultrasound hybrid imaging, like fusion imaging. Concepts related to elastography imaging are applied. Evaluating the applicable uses of ultrasound contrast agents. 

PHYSICAL PRINCIPLES

The physical principles section makes up approximately 15% of the SPI questions. This process differentiates the various interactions of sound and matter. Integrating the concepts related to optimization of lateral resolution. Modifying the technique based on knowledge of reflectors. 

SKILLS TO HAVE: 

  • Knowledge of the axial resolution, lateral resolution, temporal resolution, elevational resolution, and duty factor Knowledge of frame rate. 
  • Ability to distinguish grayscale artifacts and reflectors. 

ULTRASOUND TRANSDUCERS

The ultrasound transducers section makes up approximately 16% of the SPI questions. This process evaluates and adjusts the transducer frequently based on the area being scanned, and evaluates transducer integrity. Apply concepts related to the use of curvilinear array transducers, and concepts related to linear array transducers. 

SKILLS TO HAVE: 

  • Knowledge of curvilinear transducers, linear transducers, sector transducers, endocavitary transducers, two-dimensional array transducers, components, and 1.5-dimensional array transducers.
  • Ability to select the appropriate transducer frequency for a given situation. 
  • Evaluate transducer integrity. 

IMAGING PRINCIPLES AND INSTRUMENTATION

The imaging principles and instrumentation section make up approximately 28% of the SPI questions. This process demonstrates the ability to perform accurate measurements. Here the concepts are applied related to overall gain, focusing, time gain compensation, zoom, M-mode, harmonic imaging, and dynamic. Applies the concepts related to imaging depth and grayscale.

SKILLS TO HAVE: 

  • Knowledge of instrumentation and controls, two-dimensional measurements, coded excitation, three-dimensional, or four-dimensional imaging, and extended field of view. 
  • Ability to recognize and measure anatomic structures. 

DOPPLER IMAGING CONCEPTS

The Doppler imaging concepts section makes up approximately 31% of the SPI questions. This process applies concepts related to pulse repetition frequency, wall filter, pulse wave Doppler, color angle to flow, color scale, and color maps. This modifies the exam based on color artifacts. 

SKILLS TO HAVE: 

  • Knowledge of spectral Doppler gain, continuous wave Doppler, spectral Doppler angle to flow, and power Doppler imaging. 
  • Concepts related to color packet size. 

Wrapping Up 

As a sonographer, it is important to cover all the topics when preparing for the exam. Starting your preparation with the section that has a major allotment helps you concentrate more on that section and score well. 

If you are passionate about becoming a sonographer, you can try our free SPI practice test to take your preparation process to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

WHICH CERTIFICATION EXAM WOULD A SONOGRAPHER TAKE?

A sonographer takes the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation Examination (SPI) to attain their certification.

HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU TAKE THE PTCB EXAM?

You can take the test multiple times. You just have to wait for at least 60 days to take the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) Examination again. The candidate can reapply for the exam three days after receiving a failing score. 

IS THE SPI EXAM FORMAT MULTIPLE-CHOICE?

Yes, The SPI exam format is a multiple-choice question (MCQ) format. The duration given for the SPI exam is 2 hours for the RDMS, RDCS, RVT, and RMSKS credentials. The SPI exam contains approximately 110 multiple-choice questions (MCQs). 

HOW CAN I PRACTICE FOR THE SPI EXAM?

You can start preparing for the SPI exam by making a study plan and using practice tests to take your preparation process to the next level. You can check out our free SPI practice test to help you prepare for the exam more efficiently. 

Related Reads

SPI Exam Ultrasound Certification: The Ultimate Guide

ARDMS SPI Exam Study Guide