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Sonographers are medical professionals who operate ultrasonic imaging devices to produce diagnostic images and scans, videos, or 3D volumes of anatomy and diagnostic data. Sonography requires specialized education and skills to view, analyze and modify the scan to optimize the information in the image. Because of the high levels of decisional latitude and diagnostic responsibility sonographers have a high level of responsibility in the diagnostic process, certification in sonography is generally required. Sonographers require a high level of understanding in ultrasound physics, cross sectional anatomy, physiology, pathology and communication skills; as well as highly developed psycho-motor skills that are specific to the profession.

In the United States the most widely accepted sonographic education is provided by CAAHEP/JRC-DMS accredited programs. The profession is sub-divided in specialties such as cardiac, obstetrical, vascular, and general sonographers. General sonographers are registered in abdominal and/or obstetric and gynecologic sonography. There are two credentialing bodies in the United States for sonographers, the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS)with 55,000 registrants and Cardiovascular Credentialing International.

The Australian Sonographers Association(ASA) was formed in 1992 in response to the desire of Sonographers across Australia for an organisation which had as its charter, to exclusively represent and consider the issues confronting and challenging sonographers in the Australian healthcare environment. The ASA now has a membership of more than 2,100 sonographers and about 40 corporate members. The ASA has pledged to pursue high standards within the practice of Medical Sonography. The ASA has a structure of a Board of Directors and multiple representative Branches in all Australian states.

Australian sonographers must be accredited by the Australasian Sonographers Accreditation Registry (ASAR). ASAR’s brief is to accredit and re-accredit on a regular basis, ultrasound programs offered by Australian Universities (and the DMU), and to establish the criteria against which those programs and any other future Australian and New Zealand programs are to be judged. In addition a register of accredited (AMS) and student (ASS) sonographers is maintained and their continuing professional development (CPD) activities monitored and recorded.

In the UK where sonographers are also responsible for the interpretation of the images and issue diagnostic reports; education is provided by the universities and overseen by the Consortium for Accrediation of Sonographic Education (CASE.)

Certifications in sonography after examinations administered by the ARDMS and Cardiovascular Credentialing International are recognized and administered in some countries outside the US.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sonographer". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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