Profession Description:

The Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program mission is provide students with knowledge, skills and behavioral blueprints to become competent Diagnostic Medical Sonographers enabling them to produce Diagnostic Ultrasound procedures for patients in both outpatient’s and inpatient’s units.

Program Educational Goals
• Provide students the venue to learn how to utilize diagnostic equipment and techniques, make sound professional judgment while rendering services to patients as entry level Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.
• Prepare competent entry level Diagnostic Medical Sonographers in psychomotor, cognitive and affective learning domains thus allowing them to develop the necessary tools to enter the field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
• Prepare students to utilize critical thinking skills, communicate effectively and exemplify professional ethics.
• Provide additional general courses in addition to Diagnostic Medical Sonographers courses as required for earning an Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography degree.
• Provide students with the necessary information required for understanding  anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, normal mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of the body, critical thinking, and knowledge of Sonography equipment.
• Provide qualified faculty to ensure that graduates gain both didactic and scanning skills necessary for use as an entry level Diagnostic Medical Sonographer upon graduation.
• Respond to the needs of the local Diagnostic Medical Sonography community.
Program Length/Time:
Program length is five semesters (75 weeks) daytime only. Hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 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).

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.

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
  • Obtain a patient history
  • Determine appropriate diagnostic pathways
  • Demonstrate effective teamwork
  • Prioritize patient safety, including patient transfer and immobilization techniques
  • Demonstrate proper patient positioning and scan/test techniques for procedures
  • Acquire and analyze data obtained from the use of ultrasound and related diagnostic technologies

Students are able to:
Compile sonographic findings for submission to interpreting Physicians
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 normal and abnormal physiology related to various disease state
Identify and describe signs, symptoms, and risk factors of diseases
Identify and describe the parameters used in interpretation of sonograms                               Identify sonographic pathologies of the fetus, neonate, breast, pelvic, abdominal organs, blood vessels thyroid and other small parts
Identify invasive and other correlative sonograms relative to sonographic pathologies
Identify normal and variant anatomy
Identify the characteristics each organ
Recognize graphs and transplant function and sonographic appearance

Master Curriculum Completion Plan

Semester 1
BIO 110 Anatomy & Physiology – 4 SCr.
MATH 220 College Algebra – 3 SCr.
DMS 212 Medical and Sonographic Terminology – 1 SCr.
PHY 216 General Physics – 3 SCr.
PC 200 Sonography Medico Legal & Patient Care – 3 SCr.
ENG 110 Communication – 3 SCr.

Semester 2
PHY 220 Sonographic Physics and Instrumentation – 3 SCr.
PSYC 110 Physiological Psychology – 3 SCr.
DMS 317 Master Scanning Lab 1 – 4 SCr.
DMS 213 Obstetrics and Pelvic Sonography – 4 SCr.

DMS 319 Clinical Sonography Rotation 1 – 3 SCr.
DMS 214 Small Parts, Breast and Vasculature Sonography – 4 SCr.
DMS 318 Master Scanning Lab 11 – 4 SCr.
DMS 216 Abdominal Sonography – 4 SCr.

BIO 111 Pathophysiology – 4 SCr.
DMS 315 Sonographic Pathology – 4 SCr.
DMS 320 Clinical Sonography Rotation 11 – 6 SCr.

Semester 5
DMS 321 Clinical Sonography Rotation 111 – 12 SCr.
Total Semester Credits – 72 SCr.

Program hours calculated based on semester credits are as follows:
Lecture – 15 clock hours equals 1 semester credit hour
Lab – 30 clock hours equals 1 semester credit hour
Externship – 45 clock hours equals 1 semester credit hour
Outside Classroom work is calculated as follows: – 7.5 hours for every semester credit hour granted.

Satisfactory Academic Progress:

Qualitative component
• Grade Point Average GPA)
Quantitative components
• Pace of progression (earned credits divided by attempted credits)
• Maximum time frame (maximum number of attempted credits)
Specifically for Houston International College Cardiotech Ultrasound School, the elements required for a student to be considered in compliance are:
• Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement
Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average on all hours attempted at Houston International College Cardiotech Ultrasound School.
• Please refer to the grading system in the Houston International College Cardiotech Ultrasound School catalog for information on how quality points are assigned and how GPA is calculated.
• Pace of Completion Requirement
Students must maintain a cumulative pace of 66.67% which is 66.67% of all hours attempted at Houston International College Cardiotech Ultrasound School and credits accepted from other institutions must be passed to maintain SAP.
Maximum Time Frame for Financial Aid Purposes Undergraduate
Full time student is 12+ semester credit hours
Maximum Time Frame
Students receiving financial aid must complete their program of study within a reasonable time frame. The maximum time frame established for Houston International College Cardiotech Ultrasound School as an undergraduate is 150% which is 109 credit hours (including all transfer credit hours). For those students seeking a second undergraduate degree, the student must not have attempted over 109 credit hours prior to obtaining first degree.

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 the registry exams. These are independent private agencies 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 and graduates are advised to check with these agencies for information regarding all examinations.