FAQ

Here are the questions most persons ask; you’ll have you own, so call on us by any means at any time.  Our relationship with you is very important to us.

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Course tuition and associated travel, lodging, and meal expenses are tax-deductible if the primary purpose of your trip is to maintain or improve professional skills.*  

While you should always consult your tax advisor regarding your personal situation, our courses are designed to comply fully with current tax laws.

Yet another reason to get started on your path to your Future Success.


* See Treasury Reg. 1.162.5; Coughlin v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 203 F 2d 30

Category: General

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Our commitment to strictly limited class size compels us to enact a proper administrative policy, as do other national organizations.  Please review all the details of it here.  

In brief, we do apply an administrative charge in the event you cancel and either refund the balance, less the admin fee, for cancelations more than thirty days in advance.  For cancelations less than thirty days out, you’ll still retain a credit balance for any course for the next 12 months, less the admin fee.  No-show registrants without notice of written cancelation forfeit tuition.

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Advance registration is required; we can’t admit applicants at the door. 

Because of the tight restriction on class size, we can only confirm your seat in class after we review your application and receive your tuition.  There is no deadline and we often receive applications right up to the day before class; however, registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.  

You should not make non-refundable travel reservations without confirmation from us of your approved status.  We’ll correspond to you by email and we invite you to call us any time.

Though our site is securely encrypted, for your security all payment processing is handled manually. Please allow 48 hours for us to process your application and payment.

 

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We’re not different just because we taught many of the others you’re learning from today… We’re different because we’re willing to pay the money, time, and attention to the details that others don’t.

The single biggest difference is likely that we have Keith Mauney.  His unique experiences in the science, the industry, and all facets of the field, coupled with his insight into you and your needs is unlike any other, and this perspective pervades our entire Team.  You won’t just learn how to be a better sonographer, you’re going to be inspired to be a better clinician, and everyone around you knows the difference.

There’s a difference in the tangible details too: Take a more analytical look at the differences between our colleagues-in-learning and us at the chart here.

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Keith Mauney entered the field in 1972; he founded the institute in 1981. 

We’ve been growing and giving ever since.

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The ARDMS and CCI credentialing exams require a minimum period of full-time experience (or its equivalent.  The ARDMS requires that these hours are earned as a paid employee. The ARRT and CCI credentialing process requires documentation of hours of clinical experience or prior credentialing in another area plus documentation of a minimum number of clinical exams.  Neither of these specifically states that these activities must have been done for free or for compensation.  

It is entirely possible to obtain payment for your services during your “internship” prior to attempting certification.  This is a matter between you and your employer.  However, insurance payers may not reimburse your employer for certain exams if a credentialed sonographer has not performed them.  

Thus, it appears you might not be able to find employment in the field without credentialing, and you might not be able to apply for credentialing without prior employment in it. Time will tell.

There is a potential solution: You can make a proposal to a prospective employer by researching payer policies and proposing an Employment Agreement. You might make a certain time commitment for a period at a reduced salary in exchange for the chance to build your clinical experience hours.

Medicare payment policies are complex and require time to research, but complete information is available.  You can review and download a free, customizable Proposal Agreement we’ve prepared for you here.

Don’t let anyone’s administrative rules stand in the way of your goals of Service.  Persevere and prevail; this Field needs you and what you can offer.

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Our institute’s title might suggest we’re a franchise, or promoter-type organization, bringing in various luminaries for different shows. 

We are neither.

We’re a group of career professionals, each one.   We’ve worked together for from five to forty years in our Mission.  

Each one of us is clinically active in our field and is deeply experienced in communicating with and leading groups into new areas of learning.  

Keith Mauney personally teaches part or all of every course and is responsible for every facet of your experience.  There is a core of five of us, responsible for most of our teaching experiences, surrounded by another group of ten, surrounded by an advisory group of twenty.  A resource network of over twenty-five thousand professionals who have shared our experience, worldwide, surrounds these three “rings”.

You tap into all of that support when you walk through our doors. 

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Prerequisites for the credentialing exams are always subject to change.   contact the agency for current criteria.

Presently, the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, available only to Registered Radiologic Technologists,  is the least stringent option, presently requiring as few as 42 documented procedures (for those who are otherwise qualified). 

The ARDMS is open to both ultrasound school graduates and other clinicians who already have formal healthcare degrees.  If you’ve just completed your accredited ultrasound school program you can apply immediately.  Others must verify their work in a paid position for at least 800 hours and have a Clinical Verification Affidavit completed by an ARDMS-credentialed member.  This sponsor must be ARDMS-registered in the same specialty as the exam for which the applicant applies.

CCI prerequisites are based on time spent in clinical experience; these range from one to two years and have a requisite number of experience-hours, depending on your prior training.  

Each agency has its own application fees, subsequent CME maintenance requirements, and periodic registration dues.  

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This is the most important question for you to get answered, so be sure to ask it when you inquire of any training resource before you make your investment.

We believe this is the most important part of your learning because ultrasound is so hand-eye dependent.  Our hands-on strategy has been refined over forty years of experimentation, and we think we have the best approach of any course, regardless of term.  Hands-on practice is available at least 16 of every 24 hours you’re with us because after the scheduled class is over, our on-site Scan Lab is open for you to practice independently on yourself or in-class peers any time. 

Our hands-on strategy is broken into three parts: 

The first involves breaking down the protocol step-by-step, showing how to locate and identify structures, optimize images, and differentiate normal from questionable or obvious abnormality.

The second phase involves actual hands-on practice on normal subjects to experience and overcome real-world challenges.  We do this face to face, hands-to-hand in a very small group under the supportive guidance of our expert Faculty.  We know how stressful it is and we’re infinitely patient along the way.

The third plane of learning is optional while you’re with us and is strongly encouraged.  It incorporates your after-hours practice, peer-to-peer, without the pressure or presence of an instructor.  Exploration on your own reinforces the day’s work, challenges you, and actually helps build your confidence without pressure to perform, as you’ll surely feel once you return home. 

We follow this plan each day and tailor our approach to you as a person to make sure you develop competence.  Genuine confidence can’t be short-cut; it takes years of practice and accountability.  We often host ultrasound school graduates who come to validate and expand what they’ve already been taught.  

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This is our unique advantage to you: Our ability to connect…connect the facts to your hands and mind, the self-awareness you can do this, the encouragement and leading to do so, and the surety of the fact that we’ll never leave you after you return home.

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Everything we do is held at our Host hotel. You’ll never have to leave. Visit our host hotel preview to start making plans for your stay with us.

On the first day, we’ll meet and greet you in the Lobby, where complimentary hot breakfast is served daily. We’ll then move upstairs to the Scan Lab, where we’ll discuss and practice. You can come and go as you like, though we’ll take periodic morning, lunch, and afternoon breaks.

We’ve built your experience around a specific lesson plan. Each day concludes by 4:00 pm, after which we suggest you relax, then enjoy the hotel’s complimentary lobby Social Hour (Monday-Thursday, 5-6:30 pm). Typically you and your newfound friends plan the afternoon/evening activities, which usually include group dining, shopping, and (of course) independent evening scanning in our 24-hour Scan Lab.  Enjoy the outdoor pool, fitness, and business center (free high-speed Wi-Fi), and make use of the full-service laundry on site. On-site parking is free and the property is smoke-free.

You’ll retire to your own suite, equipped with a full kitchen with a separate parlor and sleeping quarters.  There’s plenty of room to share with your family and friends, including furry ones- it’s pet friendly.

Transportation options include nearby and airport car rental, Uber/Lyft/taxi, bus & light rail service. Restaurants, nightlife, and shopping are all within walking distance in this uncommonly safe, vibrant, and modern community.

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You’re going to learn all of the steps of the complete and systematic exam.

You’ll learn how to identify all principal structures and relate them to each other, and you’re going to learn how to systematically define normal from suspected abnormal. 

In academic terms, you’re going to learn the nuances of abstract spatial reasoning, conspicuity, and critical matrix analysis.  

But there’s more: You’re going to learn how to become an even better clinician, by becoming an even better person. 

This is the magic behind the scenes in our classes.  It is the secret ingredient that sets us apart from every other.  It is the unseen element that you just have to be there to see, experience, and become a part of. All combined, they’re the things that will get you hired, get you recognized, advance your career, and help fulfill your destiny in this field.

And we’re never going to leave you. 

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Hands-on ultrasound training classmates.

You’re going to find your new friends in class are going to be just like you: they’ve come to learn more.  Some will have lots of experience in their areas, some will have less; some may have none.  But everyone will share the same uneasiness about being in a new place and being seen as a learner in front of others. 

But the most important people you’ll find yourself in class with will be our Faculty Team who are passionate about your success and incredibly accomplished at putting you at ease from the first minute.  

And you can be sure of one thing: there won’t be a one in the class who already has it all figured out. 

The less you know at the outset, the better.  It makes our job even more fun, and your learning experience more effective.

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Anything you like, because you’ve got a universe of choices and you’ll make new friends immediately. Know that you’re going to be staying in one of the safest communities in North America and you’ll never need to leave the premises once you arrive: everything is on-site.

We hope you’ll take full advantage of our 24-hour hands-on scan lab on-site, where you can practice alone or with peers in an independent setting with no instructor and your own agenda. 

You’ll have in-depth course materials to review, to reinforce each day’s concepts. 

And you’ll have Social Hour (Monday-Thursday) in the hotel lobby, to relax with beverages and hot hors-d’oeuvres. 

You’ll be steps away from all dining options and just a short distance to world-class shopping and entertainment.  Get a preview of our host hotel site so you can start feeling at home already.

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This is the most important question of all and you should get that answer from any of the many ultrasound training programs you consider.

Our focus is to get your hands, eyes, and mind organized to perform the ultrasound exam, identify suspected or obvious pathology and communicate your findings with clarity and authority.

To accomplish these in record time we quietly pay close attention to you at every turn.  We also need and expect you to yield to the process of learning, which includes attention, self-study, and practice.  Over four decades we’ve learned how to create the experience that’s comfortable, motivating, and supportive– the place where you can be stimulated, flourish, gain competence, and begin healthy confidence that will last a lifetime.

Besides the psychology and experience underlying our approach, we’ve created a safe, college campus-style environment, complete with a 24-hour scan laboratory where after-hours practice and peer-to-peer learning makes the most of every hour you’re with us.  Everyone becomes instant friends and after the course adjourns, we still stand with you forever. Our personal post-conference supportprint and online resources will always be at arm’s length, for free. 

You’ll have to return home, but we’ll never leave you.

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Hands-on ultrasound training: micro-classes.

This is microscopic.

We strictly limit class size to be able to focus attention on your individual learning style.  The usual class group is less than five persons; it fosters a community atmosphere without sacrificing intimacy.  Regardless of size, our unique approach creates a peer-to-peer support network that further deepens the learning process during class.  We treat you with the deference and respect you deserve, meet you where you are, and pleasantly escort you forward.

You won’t feel intimidated and you won’t be ignored in a sea of faces.  You will immediately become family… and we’ll stay with you for life when you’re through here.

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The difference between us and accredited ultrasound programs lies in our focus and our use of your time.  

We focus on expanding your existing clinical knowledge and skills; we meet you where you are in your career and move you forward at uncommon speed… and we never step away once you’ve gone.  Think of us as a post-graduate experience for healthcare professionals.

Formal ultrasound schools are an industry that exists to take a high-school graduate or adult without college training to a point ready to apply for credentialing and bedside service in ultrasonography.  It is education from the level-ground up and it’s the best pathway for persons new to healthcare.  

The first year of a two-year program usually focuses on your general education in language arts, biology, math, and science; the second on clinical science, ultrasound physics, scan technique, and clinical rotations where you observe and practice skills taught in class. 

A four-year program deepens the experience in three ways: 1) your general education is spread longer, 2) more time is spent building your understanding of clinical biology and pathophysiology, and 3) you acquire more hours in the same sort of clinical rotations as a two-year program. 

Graduates from an accredited 2- or 4-year program can immediately apply for certification through the ARDMS or CCI credentialing exam.

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This doesn’t apply to our institution The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education (CAHEA) accredits only formal ultrasound programs of at least one year in length though Associates’ and Bachelor’s degreed schools are two and four-years, respectively.  Such programs build in “hands-on” experience over this time through clinical observation/performance rotations that fulfill credentialing agency prerequisites immediately upon graduation.

Even though there are over 200 schools in the U.S. alone, each of which qualifies you experientially to undertake any of the sonographer credentialing exam immediately, the overall pass/fail rate remains largely unchanged for the last three decades.

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No. Accreditation refers to the status that a formal two or four-year school achieves when it demonstrates compliance with approved standards set forth by state or other professional agencies.  Only programs of at least two years duration can apply for this status.

We declined the opportunity to create one of the first accredited ultrasound schools in 1982 and instead focused on a more appropriate pathway for already-practicing medical professionals to properly use medical ultrasound, in all areas of clinical application.

We trace our roots to the beginning of formal ultrasound education and most likely have had a hand in training your accredited school’s ultrasound faculty: Over 100,000 professionals have crossed our path in the classroom, deriving from a worldwide audience.

Our academic origins, continuing bedside practice, and ongoing industry/engineering consultation allow us to bring to you a resource that no other institution can match.

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No, but our hands-on ultrasound training will help elevate your Radiology Technologist career options.

The field of Sonography is open to degreed professionals and qualified individuals from any field.  As you can see from just above, high school graduates with two years’ experience can apply for the CCI cardiology or vascular credentials.  This field does require a thorough knowledge of anatomy and clinical disease, of course, but radiology science is not a necessary or favored path.  The American Society of Radiologic Technologists offers its own exam in general and/or vascular sonography for its own members.

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Each of the several credentialing agencies requires you to have either a formal ultrasound school degree or a recognized professional medical credential with specific clinical experience (at present, a minimum of 800 hours as an employed bedside ultrasonographer).  

Recognized allied health professionals generally include registered nurses, registered radiologic or respiratory therapists, physical therapists, and other already-degreed, licensed practitioners.  

Check the specific requirements of your selected credentialing agency.  A list of them with links is provided in a separate FAQ: After this, how do I get registered?

 

 

 

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At the time of this publication, Oregon and New Mexico require that all persons working in diagnostic ultrasound be credentialed.  Of course, this may change over time and you should consult a proper legal authority to ensure full compliance in this dynamic environment.  

Most medical insurance payers require exams to be performed by credentialed professionals.  You should set your sights on the highest standard of credentialing possible, to offer patients the highest standard of care you can provide.

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Get credentialed in ultrasound.


In the United States, the process has become convoluted over time, with many overlapping, competing private-sector agencies.

In 1989, the federal government set the requirement for Medicare reimbursement to be authorized exclusively for ultrasound procedures conducted by credentialed individuals.  Private insurance providers followed suit, and several states have enacted laws to restrict the practice of medical ultrasound solely to credentialed practitioners.  

The vast sum of government and private health care funding ensures that this mix of authoritarian agencies will continue to evolve and what follows represents only a current understanding (at the time of this publication) current policies.  Consult with your specialized medical practice’s legal counsel for present-day, accurate information pertaining to your Service.

Each agency has a specific prerequisite pathway for each of its exams; no one agency has preeminence above another regarding compliance with federal reimbursement for the specific service provided under its credential.

Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) credentials cardiovascular allied health professionals in noninvasive and invasive cardiovascular procedures, including ultrasound.  CCI was the first credentialing agency to achieve credentialing as such by the National Association of Credentialing Agencies.

The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS, originally the American Society of Ultrasound Technical Specialists) offers separate credentials in every area of sonographer practice.  

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) credentials registered radiology technicians in general and vascular ultrasound.  

The Alliance for Physician Certification & Advancement (APCA) credentials qualifying physicians in the separate areas of POC ultrasound, vascular ultrasound interpretation, MSK ultrasound, nuclear cardiology, and cardiovascular computed tomography.

In 1991, the similar beginnings of provider-facility-credentialing were launched and the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission today continues to advance the integrity and quality of patient care in a number of patient-care divisions, including cardiovascular ultrasound.   

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Learning is a lot more than getting facts; it’s about making them your own.

We’ll do both, from the start.

It sounds impossible, and there is no guarantee that anyone who graduates any school will be able to perform well immediately.  Everyone learns and masters different skills at different speeds, but one thing is constant among everyone: each person has to begin with the right approach.  

Our mission for you is to set the core hand-eye and critical thinking skills to be able to execute and document a systematic exam, differentiate normal from suspected abnormal states, and communicate suspected abnormalities in a clear authoritative manner. 

To this end, we maximize your time here by making the material come alive at the bedside. Your on-site Hands-On Scan Lab is open after hours for your independent practice on yourself or in-class peers. You’ll have comprehensive print and online course materials that you’ll refer to for life And further, we never leave you: personal post-conference mentoring support continues as you leave, forever, for free.

 

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    In an uncertain future, the best investment you can make is in you.  

    From the outset, we decided that it would be much better to explain to you our tuition pricing once than to answer for a poor experience many times over.

    You’d probably agree that it is better to invest a little more time and money than you had planned to instead of less than you should have. There is no question that you’ll be able to spend the difference it will make, both immediately and for the rest of your life. 

    Tuition is listed for each course description page. As a budget process you should also factor in costs of travel, ground transportation, lodging, and food; each one is tax-deductible for education related to your present job or career improvement.  Subtract the cost of breakfast and lunch during the course; they’re provided free for our Guests.

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    Each course is from one to five days long, with every hour concentrating years of knowledge and hands-on experience.

    Our mission is to reveal the reality underlying the so-called mystery of ultrasound imaging, thus building your bedside competence immediately and launching you far ahead on the path to confidence. And the only way anyone can make short-term training work is to stay with you after the class is over. For this reason, you get all our personal contacts– including our direct cell phone numbers for lifetime support, for free.

    Our ultrasound training dramatically shortens your traditional learning experience by carefully binding hands-on practice with thought, over and over, step by step, in a way that treats you with deference and respect.

    We constantly, quietly read you: we recognize how you learn, we know how to lead you, when to gently correct errors and we’re expert in the best ways to support, challenge, and grow you. Whether you come with years of experience or very little at all, we’re genuinely excited and eminently prepared to escort you into your future in clinical care.

    Don’t want to travel? We can save you substantial time and out of pocket costs by bringing the training to your own site.  This allows all of your Team to learn the same things at once and do it without interrupting your workflow.

    Category: General

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    We’re the second oldest private ultrasound technician training course institute in the US: we’ve been in service continuously since 1981.  We keep a low profile because we prefer it that way:  teaching you is a profession to us first and a business endeavor last.   Most of our ultrasound technician and physician clientele are referred by word of mouth, from our over 37,000 students worldwide.  The chances are good that we trained your professor a long time ago.  The best way to get to know us quickly is to visit with our Core Values page.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WBj3Bv-SYI

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