Sonography Associate Degree

Sonography

sonography
Sonography
A.A.S. in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Overview

Is it a boy or a girl? As a diagnostic medical sonographer, you could be the one looking for that answer to this or many other life-impacting health questions with the use of ultrasound technology.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography is one of the most dynamic and fascinating careers available in medical imaging. The sonographer enjoys working with highly technical equipment using high frequency sound waves to view the human body. This provides a real-life internal snapshot that can assist the physician in making a diagnosis.

Beyond babies, sonograms are used today in a wide range of procedures with specialties including abdominal, breast, vascular, cardiac, and neurosonography. Besides being part of a rapidly expanding health care industry, sonography is gaining popularity as a safer alternative to radiologic procedures, creating excellent job opportunities. The field is expected to grow by 44% between 2010 and 2020.*

This is a career that challenges your expertise on a daily basis.  The registry is national meaning you can find employment in any location. It also affords you the opportunity to grow within the field by acquiring certification in multiple specialties, thus allowing you to broaden your areas of expertise. Sonographers with multiple areas of specialties are highly sought after.

Ultrasound is a rewarding career choice. It requires a great deal of commitment as your abilities directly impact patient care. It's a job with both personal and technical elements, including getting a patient positioned just right so that a properly calibrated machine can produce the best possible image.  This career also requires excellent interpersonal skills since you'll be the first person nervous patients turn to for information about their condition.

A successful sonographer is someone who can function independently, is eager to learn and has a strong ethical background. Sonographers can choose to work in clinics, hospitals, private practice physician offices, public health facilities, laboratories, and other medical settings interacting with healthy and critically ill patients.

ADA Technical Standards for the Profession

Disclosure of the Physical Demand Requirements for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers can be found here.

* US Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition

Program Description

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography degree program begins with strong classroom curriculum which is supported by a hands-on, interactive learning environment. Combined with clinical your clinical externship, you can learn about:

  • Ultrasound principles, operation of equipment and quality control
  • Sonographic principles of the abdomen, obstetrics and gynecology, breast and other superficial structures, invasive sonographic procedures, neonatal, trauma, and an introduction to vascular sonography
  • Cross-sectional anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology
  • Production of diagnostic images and appropriate examination adjustment according to  patient condition and findings
  • Recording, analyzing and processing diagnostic data and other pertinent observations made during the procedure for presentation to the interpreting physician
  • Patient care and education, including ethical and legal aspects, interpersonal communication, infection control, physical assistance and transfer, and medical emergencies

Upon program completion, graduates are qualified to take the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) registry examinations in Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation (SPI), Abdomen (AB), Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN).

This is a career that challenges your expertise on a daily basis.  The registry is national meaning you can find employment in any location. It also affords you the opportunity to grow within the field by acquiring certification in multiple specialties, thus allowing you to broaden your areas of expertise. Sonographers with multiple areas of specialties are highly sought after

Possible Career Track

A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer is also known as Sonographer, Ultrasonographer or Ultrasound Technologist. Ultrasound is a rewarding career choice. It requires a great deal of commitment as your abilities directly impact patient care. It's a job with both personal and technical elements, including getting a patient positioned just right so that a properly calibrated machine can produce the best possible image. 

This career also requires excellent interpersonal skills since you'll be the first person nervous patients turn to for information about their condition.  A successful sonographer is someone who can function independently, is eager to learn and has a strong ethical background

Graduates with a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Degree could possibly work in a variety of healthcare settings including:

  • Hospitals
  • Laboratories
  • Medical Imaging Centers
  • Outpatient Care Centers and Mobile Imaging
  • Primary Care Clinics
  • Private Practice Physician offices
  • Interact with both healthy and critically ill patients

Career advancement opportunities exist in education, research, administration, and in commercial companies as education/application specialists, sales representatives, and technical advisors.**

**Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, 2745 Dallas Pkwy., Suite 350, Plano, TX 75093-8730. Internet: www.sdms.org

Curriculum

Program Requirements

Core Curriculum

52 semester credit hours

DMS100

Essentials of Sonography & Ethics

3

DMS105

Ultrasound Physics & Instrumentation

3

DMS105L

Ultrasound Physics & Instrumentation LAB

1

DMS106

Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation II

3

DMS106L

Ultrasound Instrumentation LAB II

1

DMS109

Sectional Anatomy

3

DMS216

Ultrasound Scanning

2

DMS218

Abdominal Sonography

3

DMS219

Advanced Abdominal Sonography

3

DMS222

Obstetrics & Gynecologic Sonography

3

DMS227

Advanced Obstetric Sonography

3

DMS230

Clinical Education I

2

DMS237

Clinical Education IV

4

DMS238

Clinical Education III

3

DMS240

Clinical Education V

4

DMS241

General/SPI Registry Review

2

DMS242

Clinical Education II

4

DMS244

Clinical Education VI

3

MED203

Pathophysiology

3

Arts and Sciences

22 semester credit hours

BIO101

Human Anatomy & Physiology I

3

BIO104

Human Anatomy & Physiology II

3

COM115

Principles of Communication

3

ENG110

College Composition

3

HUM205

Culture and Diversity

3

PHY120

Physics

3

PHY120L

Physics LAB

1

PSY105

Introduction to Psychology

3

Self-Integration

4 semester credit hours

COR191

Career Orientation

1

FOR110

Essentials for Success

3

1,920 total contact hours

Program Outcomes

  • Prepare students for the challenging responsibilities of the profession and provide opportunity to acquire a working knowledge of the field.
  • Provide a clinical educational experience that enables students to be capable of performing routine sonographic procedures and related functions specific to general Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
  • Provide an education experience that promotes effective communication skills, critical thinking abilities and professionalism.
  • Promote the development of core values and ethical standards necessary for the delivery of quality, patient-centered care. 

For cost, financing and time frame information, click here.