Professional organizations take on voluntary responsibility for certifying and registering ultrasound technicians who have earned credentials that include completing a degree and passing a competency exam. In addition to this layer of quality assurance, some states including Oregon, North Dakota and New Mexico have decided to license sonographers.
State licensing can add an extra level of communication, protection and record keeping to ensure the public’s protection. However, minimum requirements for ultrasound technician license may be lower than those of professional bodies, and state licensing allows government greater control over defining competency criteria.
ARDMS and ARRT have both suggested that the best licensing scenario is to enact national standards to avoid the potential for each state to adopt differing criteria.
In the case of ARRT, more than thirty states have recognized its criteria for licensing of other radiologic professionals although ARRT’s own professional credential criteria are generally stricter. Sonographers who maintain their ARRT registration should be well positioned to meet any state of federal licensure requirements enacted in future. Likewise, the ARDMS Legislative Committee is monitoring state licensing trends with a view to safeguarding the interests of the sonography profession and its members.
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