Can I get paid for my clinical hours during the period I’m fulfilling my prerequisite? Do clinical volunteer hours count toward my clinical hours?
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.