DIAGNOSTIC MEDICAL SONOGRAPHY

Profession Description

A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer is a healthcare professional who utilizes medical ultrasound in various medical settings to gather sonographic data to aid in the diagnosis of a variety of medical conditions and diseases. The Diagnostic Medical Sonographer records and processes anatomical and pathophysiological data for integration with medical history, and properly communicates those findings to a licensed physician. In addition, the Diagnostic Medical Sonographer educates patients in matters that involve medical ultrasound procedures, and promotes basic principles of good health. Specifically, Diagnostic Medical Sonography is vital in the diagnosing and treating patients with pathologies of the abdominal and pelvic cavity and small parts pathologies such as atherosclerosis, clots and aneurysms. Using ultrasound and other techniques, Sonographers acquire, analyze and document diagnostic information about the patient’s condition. They obtain patients history, perform appropriate test procedures and write preliminary reports of the data obtained for the interpreting physician or vascular surgeon. Sonographers use their judgment, reasoning abilities and discretion to perform Diagnostic Medical ultrasound. Communication skills play a vital role in the sonography profession enabling sonographers to communicate with physicians and patients. Full-time Diagnostic Medical Sonographers generally work a 5-day, 40 hour week. Approximately one half are required to be on-call outside normal operating hours (e.g., evenings, and weekends).

Program Description

This program is designed to train entry level Diagnostic Medical Sonographers to assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of disorders affecting the human body. Students are taught by experienced Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and physicians. The program is five semesters in length including the summer semesters. The first three semesters consists of classroom, laboratory, and patients’ observation. The last two semesters consists of clinical rotation in which students observe and perform procedures under the supervision of experienced Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. Graduates work in hospitals, imaging centers, mobile labs, and physician’s offices.

Learning outcome categories include but are not limited to the categories listed below:

Communication: Students learn to Verbal and non verbal modes of expression appropriate for the purpose and audience

Computation: Students learn to Use mathematical skills as related to various aspects of technology appropriate for the task

Cognition:

Students are able to

  • Use critical thinking skills to analyze, evaluate and synthesize information and ideas
  • Use independent judgment and systematic problem solving methods to produce high quality diagnostic information and optimize patient care.
  •  Global knowledge, responsibility and community consciousness: Students must demonstrate an understanding of different cultures, knowledge of historical eras and importance of community involvement
  • Perform patient assessment plans for individual patient.
  • Perform sonograms of the abdominal cavity, pelvis organs small parts and blood vessels.
  • Identify spectral and color-flow Doppler artifacts.
  • Demonstrate the ability to obtain a patient history and determine appropriate diagnostic pathways
  • Demonstrate the ability to work effectively on a team.
  • Prioritize patient safety, including patient transfer, and immobilization techniques.
  • Demonstrate proper patient positioning and scan/test techniques for non-invasive vascular tests.
  • Acquire and analyze data obtained using ultrasound and related diagnostic technologies.

Compilation:

Students are able to

  • Compile sonographic findings for submission to the interpreting physician to aid in patient diagnosis and management
  • Select appropriate technical factors to produce images within the limits of the ALARA principle
  • Understand and describe test indications, capabilities, and limitations pertaining to physiology, pathology and pathophysiology.
  • Describe the capabilities, limitations, and contraindications of invasive/correlative sonographic procedures relative to sonographic pathologies.
  • Describe the mechanism of various diseases on vessels.
  • Describe therapeutic medical, surgical, and non-surgical interventions.
  • Explain the normal physiology and the abnormalities related to various diseases.
  • Identify and describe signs, symptoms, and risk factors of various related diseases.
  • Identify and describe the parameters used in interpretation of sonograms  Identify sonographic pathologies of the fetus, neonate, breast, pelvic, and abdominal organs, blood vessels and small parts.
  • Identify invasive and other correlative sonograms relative to sonographic pathologies.
  • Identify normal anatomy and recognize normal variants.
  • Identify the characteristics each organ.
  • Recognize the function, and sonographic appearance of grafts and transplants.

Program Length/Time:

Program length is five semesters (75 weeks) during the day only. Daytime hours are 8:00 am to 3:30 pm Monday to Friday. The maximum allowable time to complete this program is one and a half times (150%) times the # of semester credit hours. The length of the program excludes vacation time. (See schedule of vacation breaks). Vacation is not included in the length of the program.

Credentialing Agencies:

Graduates of the Associate of Applied Science program may apply and sit for the registry after completing an accredited program. Specialty exam are administered through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT). The college or program is not affiliated with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).The college has an agreement with American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT)for graduates to write the These are private independent agencies, and which are responsible for the guidelines and rules for admissions to the various exams. Under the current criteria for writing the registry exams, admissions to the exams are solely the responsibility of the examining body. The program cannot guarantee future eligibility for these exams. Students are advised to check frequently with these agencies for information regarding all examinations.