Sonography is a non-invasive diagnostic imaging procedure that generates a likeness through the use of high-frequency sound waves for the evaluation and diagnosis of a range of medical conditions. Ultrasound images provide information about organs, tissues as well as the flow of blood through the vascular system. The highly skilled health care professionals who conduct these procedures are called sonographers and vascular technologists. With the rapid development of new technologies and the rising use of diagnostic ultrasound procedures, sonography is a growing profession that has advanced drastically over the past several decades.
Becoming a Sonographer in Canada
Complete secondary school with the required prerequisite courses. These courses include university stream English, advanced functions, biology, chemistry and either physics or calculus and vectors. Most sonography programs have limited enrollment and generally require a minimum of 82 percent overall average from high school to be considered for admission.
Apply to the Medical Radiation Sciences program. Applications can be submitted through the appropriate provincial universities' application centers. There is currently no supplementary application required because offers of admission are determined entirely by scholastic performance.
Complete the four-year Medical Radiation Sciences program. The program begins with a collective first year, after which students are streamed into one of three program fields: radiography, ultrasonography and radiation therapy.
Complete the Clinical Skills Assessment through the Canadian Association of Registered Diagnostic Ultrasound Professionals (CARDUP) which takes place in either a lab or a clinical setting. The assessment is divided into two stages and both must take place within 18 months of graduating. The first stage measures the applicant's aptitude on a number of computer-generated case studies. The second takes place in a clinical setting overseen by an experienced examiner.
Take the Core Sonographic Examination. The candidate is allotted 80 minutes to complete 80 multiple-choice questions. Successful completion of this examination is necessary for certification as a generalist sonographer, cardiac sonographer or vascular sonographer.
Take the Generalist Sonographer Examination, which is comprised of approximately 280 multiple-choice questions in the areas of obstetrical and gynecological sonography, abdominal sonography and sonography of the musculo-skeletal system and the vascular system.
Register with CARDUP. As a registrant, new sonographers begin a three-year period spanning from May 1st of the first year to April 30th of the third year during which registrants are obligated to acquire 30 continuing medical education (CME) credits to exhibit dedication to keeping current with the values and advancing concepts of sonography.