Are there different types of ultrasound specialties to study or just one?

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Tonijz00 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

19 months ago

Are there different types of ultrasound specialties to study or just one?
Hello, I am very interested and excited about becoming an Ultrasound Technician {Diagnostic Medical Sonographer}. This would be a career change for me so I am trying to research as much as possible about this before I start school; I want to know what I am getting into and if it’s in demand in my state. I have learned a lot but still have just a few questions that are still unclear to me:

When I first looked into this as a potential major I thought that you would just learn the human body and ultrasound imaging and scan people according to what they needed {such as breast, abdominal, scrotum, heart, etc} but it is now my understanding that there are different specialties to study for. What are all of the specialties?

I looked it up but all I found was:
•Obstetrics and Gynecology Ultrasound {Ob/Gyn}
•Vascular Ultrasound
•Cardiac Ultrasound

- Are there others or was it all summed up to just these 3?
- What are the differences?
- {dumb question alert ->} If I go to an accredited school and say I want to major in cardiac ultrasound does this mean if there are job openings for vascular or even OB/Gyn I’m not considered qualified for them {just cardiac}?
- {another dumb question} There are only 2 accredited schools in my city {none are accredited online} and next to the school/class it says general, cardiac or vascular {the other school ONLY said “general”… so this means if I wanted to study OB/GYN I’m practically S.O.L.. or…. ?
- Is one specialty more difficult than the other? If so, how?

For example.. on the website CAAHEP.Org - the accredited school I am looking at has 3 separate things.
Concentration: Cardiac
Concentration: General
Concentration: Vascular

What is “general”?

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Roger in Oakland, California

19 months ago

There are broken down into categories.

If you take a general ultrasound program, it will cover more than OB/gyn. that is one aspect, but you neurosonology, abdominal and breast.

Cardiac has 3 levels, adult, peds, fetal

vascular is vascular.

You cant apply for a cardiac job if you do breast ultrasounds and like wise with any other modality. Your specialty is what you apply for.

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Tonijz00 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

19 months ago

Thank you Roger. Very helpful.

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Karry in Massachusetts

19 months ago

For me, I chose general because its a two year degree, with that you do liver, kidneys, gallbladder and more, also many do vascular and ob/gyn. When I am done and have my RDMS I can also take vascular and cardiac in a one year certificate program and earn registry in those. To get your RDMS you take a physics exam and one specialty. You can do abdomen, obgyn, breast. Anyone of those along with physics and your licensed then you can study and take additional modalities later.

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Roger in Oakland, California

19 months ago

Karry in Massachusetts said: For me, I chose general because its a two year degree, with that you do liver, kidneys, gallbladder and more, also many do vascular and ob/gyn. When I am done and have my RDMS I can also take vascular and cardiac in a one year certificate program and earn registry in those. To get your RDMS you take a physics exam and one specialty. You can do abdomen, obgyn, breast. Anyone of those along with physics and your licensed then you can study and take additional modalities later.

Interesting. I did not know that about other modalities adding on, I figure you'd have to have a clinical verification form signed off or worked 1 yr in an additional modality. I only say that because I didnt see or maybe I am missing it in one of the prereques for the registry. My course was adult echo specific, but I had internships in pediatric echo and vascular. I have training in TCD, but wanted to learn more neurosonology. I think I will have to bug the general ultrasound folks down the hall way.

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Roger in Oakland, California

19 months ago

Tonijz00 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: Thank you Roger. Very helpful.

Not a problem. look at ardms.org.. that it is broken down in those categories and their prerequs for registries

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