Radiologic technologists often specialize in one diagnostic imaging technique. To keep their certification credentials current, they need continuing education (CE) credits. Online-only CE programs are available. Admittance usually requires a degree or certificate in the field being studied.
Sonographic and nuclear medicine technologists are two types of radiologic specialists who require ongoing continuing education to maintain certification. Sonographers use diagnostic equipment that bounces high frequency sound waves off tissues, records echoes and transforms them into dynamic visual images. Nuclear medicine technologists use trace amounts of radiopharmaceuticals to obtain bone, tissue and organ data; a special camera records an image created by gamma ray emissions (www.asrt.org). Each of these radiologic specialties has its own organization that offers certification. Multiple subspecialties are also practiced in each.
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Program Information and Requirements
The rules governing maintenance of certifications are complex and subject to change. Sonographers and nuclear medicine technologists are advised to carefully choose among those recognized by their respective certifying organizations and the jurisdiction in which they practice.
Professional organizations evaluate proposed courses and programs submitted by many types of providers based on peer-reviewed guidelines. Approved online continuing education is available through professional associations, medical employers, private proprietary organizations, manufacturers of medical equipment and colleges or universities. Enrollment is usually limited to recipients of an accredited certificate or degree in their respective field.
Continuing Education Information
The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography's (ARDMS) certifications are:
- Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS®)
- Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS®)
- Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT®)
Some corporations that provide free online continuing medical education for sonographers to maintain their certifications (www.ardms.org) include the following:
- Gulfcoast Ultrasound Institute
- International Center for Postgraduate Medical Education
- Sono World (CME)
The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging offers its own online library of continuing education options. Individuals could fulfill their Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements via online lectures, workshops and webinars.
The Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB) conducts basic and specialty exams in nuclear medicine. Specialties include cardiology and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) (www.nmtcb.org).
For radiologic technologists, such as sonographic and nuclear medicine technologists, periodic licensure renewal requires CE credits. A variety of institutions and organizations offer online training options to help them meet these CE requirements.