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4 Steps to Become a Registered Medical Sonographer

February 19, 2023 · 3 min read

A registered diagnostic medical sonographer is a healthcare professional who uses specialized imaging equipment that emits high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal body structures. These images are used to help physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.

Registered diagnostic medical sonographers have completed formal education and clinical training in diagnostic medical sonography and have passed a certification exam from a recognized professional organization, such as the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). They work in a variety of healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and physician offices.


To become a registered diagnostic medical sonographer, you typically need to follow these steps:

  1. Complete a formal education program in diagnostic medical sonography, which can be an associate's or bachelor's degree.
  2. Gain clinical experience by completing a clinical internship or externship.
  3. Pass the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) certification exam or an exam from another certifying organization.
  4. Maintain your certification by meeting continuing education requirements.

The specific requirements may vary depending on your location and the certifying organization you choose, so it's important to research the specific requirements in your area.


The duties of a diagnostic medical sonographer can be challenging and require a high level of skill and expertise. Sonographers use specialized equipment to create images of internal organs and tissues for medical diagnosis, and they must be knowledgeable about anatomy, pathology, and medical terminology.

In addition to technical skills, sonographers must also possess strong communication and interpersonal skills, as they often work closely with patients and other healthcare professionals. They must be able to explain procedures to patients and help them feel comfortable during the imaging process, while also accurately communicating findings to physicians and other members of the healthcare team.

Sonographers must also be able to interpret images accurately, using their knowledge of anatomy and pathology to identify abnormalities and make diagnoses. This requires a strong attention to detail and the ability to recognize subtle differences in images.

Overall, the duties of a diagnostic medical sonographer can be challenging, but with the appropriate training and experience, they can be highly rewarding. Successful sonographers are often passionate about their work, committed to ongoing learning and professional development, and dedicated to providing high-quality patient care.

The duties of a registered diagnostic medical sonographer include:

  1. Preparing patients for sonography procedures, which includes explaining the procedure, positioning the patient, and applying gel to the skin to help with the transmission of sound waves.
  2. Performing diagnostic sonographic examinations, which may include abdominal, obstetrical, gynecological, vascular, cardiac, and other types of scans.
  3. They analyze and interpret sonographic images, recognize normal and abnormal anatomy, and document findings for the interpreting physician.
  4. Providing a summary of technical findings to the interpreting physician to aid in patient diagnosis and treatment.
  5. Maintaining accurate and detailed patient records.
  6. Calibrating and maintaining sonographic equipment.
  7. Maintaining compliance with safety standards and infection control procedures.
  8. Communicating effectively with patients, physicians, and other healthcare professionals.

These duties may vary depending on the specific setting and type of sonographic examination being performed.

by Olena Kukhtyk

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