Also known as sonographers, ultrasound technicians use sophisticated ultrasound machines to create diagnostic imagery of a patient's internal organs and other tissues. Doctors use these images to monitor, diagnose, and treat a variety of medical conditions, from pregnancy to cancer to heart disease.
New Mexico Ultrasound Technician Schools
To obtain certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), you must graduate from a sonography training program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Two New Mexico schools offer such programs:
- Central New Mexico Community College: Located in Albuquerque, this school offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. Students spend time in the classroom and labs, as well as in a clinical environment gaining hands-on experience using real world equipment. Clinical studies occur in medical facilities and diagnostic centers.
- New Mexico State University Doña Ana Community College: This school offers students of its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program two choices: a certificate or an Associate of Applied Science degree. The certificate program is available to students who already have either a two-year degree or Bachelor's degree in a medically-related discipline. Students without this background must enroll in the AAS program, which includes general education credits in addition to core classes related to the DMS major.
Upon completion of their chosen program, graduates should pursue ARDMS certification in order to begin their career as an ultrasound technician.
What to Expect from New Mexico Sonography Programs
Students who graduate from a sonography program learn a variety of skills designed to improve their chances of success. These typically include:
- Communication skills
- Problem solving and critical thinking
- Proficiency using ultrasound equipment
- Providing quality patient care
While specific curriculum will vary from program to program, sonography students can expect to study the following topics:
- Abdominal sonography
- Diagnostic imaging
- Medical ethics and law
- Medical terminology
- Obstetrics and gynecological sonography
- Sonography principles and instrumentation
In addition, students spend a great deal of time (typically 1,000 hours or more) working in a clinical setting with actual ultrasound equipment. This may take place at a campus lab, or even at a local health care facility.
New Mexico Ultrasound Technician Licensing and Certification
Currently, New Mexico does not have a licensure requirement for ultrasound technicians. However, legislation requiring licensure passed recently, though no date is provided on when it will go into effect.
Upon graduation from your ultrasound technician program, you are strongly encouraged to obtain ARDMS certification, as most employers require these credentials. Additionally, certification can greatly boost your earning potential. ARDMS offers four certification options:
- Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
- Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer
- Registered Vascular Technologist
- Registered Musculoskeletal Sonographer
To obtain ARDMS certification, you'll need to pass two exams, the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation exam, as well as the specialty exam of your choice. You must also submit a Clinical Verification Form, completed application, the appropriate fee, and your transcript. ARDMS returns any incomplete applications but does not reimburse the application fee.
Resources for New Mexico Ultrasound Technicians