As the world gets more complex and competitive, it is important to take advantage of all the help available. For sonographers that includes joining professional organizations dedicated to the field of ultrasound. There are many reasons to join and actively participate in the associations as a sonography student or a working sonographer, including networking opportunities, and access to up-to-date industry information and financial resources. The amount spent on annual membership dues is money well spent.
Many Sonography Organizations and Associations
There are many organizations and associations that sonography students and professionals can join. In general, these organizations are dedicated to helping ultrasound technologist students and/or working professionals stay connected to the broader group of sonographers working around the world.
Following are some the well-recognized groups:
- Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS)
- American Society of Echocardiography at (ASE)
- American Institute of Ultrasound Medicine (AIUM)
- Society of Pediatric Echocardiography (SOPE)
- Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU)
- World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB)
- American College of Radiology (ACR)
- Academy of Emergency Ultrasound (AEUS): an academy of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (an article about emergency ultrasound)
- International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG)
- Sonography Canada
- Australasian Sonographers Association (ASA)
- British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS)
- Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Society (MUSOC)
One of the features to note about the list is the fact there is an association or organization to match every need. The benefits of membership vary from organization to organization, so it is important to review the list of items that come with each membership.
For example, some memberships include a subscription to a professional journal or access to a list of open positions, while others focus on tracking the ultrasound industry and sharing the latest ultrasound research. People who have decided to change careers and become a sonographer or go back to sonography school will find the professional organizations are very helpful and enable students to immerse themselves in the sonography field.
Host of Advantages
There are many advantages to joining professional associations. They include:
- Finding resources for additional training in specific areas
- Ability to collaborate with other professionals, sharing new ideas and asking questions
- Ability to advocate for professional causes
- Affordable access to continuing ultrasound education, Diagnostic Medical Sonographer training programs and general education courses
- Reduced conference fees
- Right to publish position papers
- Subscriptions to journals and other publications
- Access to newsletters and the latest information
- Get answers to FAQ, simplifying time spent on research
- Access to association and other college scholarships and grants for sonography students
- Notifications of important trade shows
Joining an industry or career-related organization also keeps students and working sonographers in the mainstream. Some of the websites include forums where members can ask questions and join chat sessions, and other groups manage social media sites. Joining the online conversations gives an ultrasound technologist access to fellow professionals around the world and opportunities to share knowledge and expertise.
It is also quite possible that opportunities will arise for career advancement as people let others in the online community know about new positions or their experiences in a certain specialty. The associations that offer student memberships will also help students find grants for college. The membership is one way to pursue personal success.
Choosing the Right One
Since many of the organizations charge a membership fee, it is not possible to join all of them. In fact, that is not a good idea, even if it is affordable. The best way to get the most benefit from a professional association is to fully participate in everything it offers. Join one or two and take full advantage of their features and support systems. The organizations offer an important means of expressing professionalism.