Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate

College of Health Sciences

Department Chair Sheryl E. Goss, MS, RT (R) (S), RDMS, RDCS, RVT

Faculty and Staff

Sheryl Goss, Assistant Professor of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, AAS, BS, MS College Misericordia

Karen Klimas, Clinical Coordinator, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, BS College Misericordia

The diagnostic medical sonography program is an 18-month certificate program divided into six sessions, inclusive of didactic, laboratory, and clinical education components. The purpose of this program is to prepare students to become highly qualified individuals able to perform diagnostic patient services using ultrasound. The program is designed to prepare students to perform as competent sonographers in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and physicians' offices. This specialized, non-invasive technique, utilizes the generation of high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) together with digitized instrumentation to project information on display monitors generating diagnostic images of internal organs and other structures to evaluate the absence or presence of pathology. The diagnostic medical sonographer provides patient services using medical sonographic equipment under the supervision of a physician specialist in radiology, gynecology, obstetrics, pediatrics, vascular surgery, cardiology, or ophthalmology. The sonographer assists the physician in gathering pertinent patient history as well as the anatomical, physiological, and pathological sonographic data and images necessary to diagnose an increasing variety of conditions and diseases.

The diagnostic medical sonography program is one that, upon successful completion, provides the knowledge and skills to qualify participants as sonographers. Individuals are educated to perform examinations in the following areas: obstetrical, gynecological, abdominal, small parts, and interventional sonography. Introduction to neonatal sonography and vascular sonography is also included in this program.

Upon successful completion of the diagnostic medical sonography program, students are eligible to apply for a national certification examination, thus enabling them to achieve professional status and employment in the field. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Graduates of the certificate program can continue to pursue their education through the university's Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography major or take the advanced sonography courses within the major to prepare for additional national certification examinations.

Diagnostic medical sonography is a natural extension of the medical imaging program. In many health care institutions, sonography is part of the Medical Imaging department. Any individual meeting the required program criteria and with a background and interest conducive to the medical field can pursue the field of diagnostic medical sonography. The purpose of the sonography program is founded on the value attributed to individual students, the medical imaging profession, and continuing education. The goals of the DMS program are as follows:

  1. Recognize the needs of the patient are first and foremost and possess the knowledge and skills to attend those needs, while adhering to the SDMS Code of Ethics.
  2. Interact and communicate with the community, medical staff, and fellow colleagues, in a professional and humanistic manner.
  3. Recognize emergency patient conditions and initiate life-saving first aid and basic life support procedures.
  4. Apply the knowledge and skills obtained through program education to perform quality diagnostic medical sonography.
  5. Using independent judgment, interpret and evaluate the sonographic images for diagnostic quality.
  6. Demonstrate concern for staying abreast of new developments in the field, as well as further self-development.
  7. Demonstrate critical thinking and/or writing skills.
  8. Apply the knowledge and skills obtained through program education to successfully pass the certification examination given by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).

The target populations that may be compatible with this program include the following:

  1. Students currently pursuing a BS degree in the existing medical imaging major and exhibiting an interest in specializing in diagnostic medical sonography.
  2. Individuals with previous allied health education expressing a desire for a career change.
  3. Individuals interested in seeking a career in the healthcare field.

Admission Criteria:

To be considered for entrance into the sonography certificate program, applicants must meet one of the following three pathways:

  1. Graduate of an accredited allied health program (minimum of two years) and completion of prerequisites listed in Pathway #3 with a minimum grade of "C", or
  2. Graduate of a bachelor degree program, and completion of prerequisites listed in Pathway #3 with a minimum grade of "C", or
  3. Completion of prerequisites at the university or post secondary level with a "C" or higher to include the following:

    Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II

    Ethics

    Physics

    Math or Algebra

    English (Oral or written communication)

    Patient Care

    Medical Terminology

    Note: Patient Care and Medical Terminology can be taken as co-requisites in the first session of the program.

    All courses completed on the post secondary level will be evaluated on an individual basis for determination of acceptance.

  4. Standard university admission requirements
  5. Two letters of recommendation
  6. Interview with program faculty.

Applicants will be evaluated on an individual basis. Tuition is calculated on a per-credit basis.

Electronic communication among faculty, staff and students occurs frequently throughout the program as well as online evaluation methods required within the individual courses. Students are required to possess basic computer skills and frequent access to a computer.

Special Expenses

In addition to tuition and fees, expenses for the diagnostic medical sonography may include CPR certification and re-certification, background checks, health examination fees, immunization fees, drug screening, malpractice liability insurance, and uniforms.

A fee will be charged to the student's bill for the first fall semester for cost of name badge, HIPAA education, program handbook, electronic clinical records program and professional liability insurance. Second fall semester fee covers professional liability insurance.

Fees for national certification exams are paid by the student to the respective agency, such as American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography just prior to completion of program.

Course Sequence

48 credits Class of 2013 and beyond

Session I (September–December)

Total Credits 9

DMS 101

Introduction to Sonography

2

DMS 102

Introduction to Sonography Lab

1

DMS 107

Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation

3

DMS 111

Sonographic Cross Sectional Anatomy

3

(32 hours of clinical observation during November and December)

Session II (January–May)

Total Credits 11

DMS 117

Abdominal Sonography

3

DMS 122

Pelvic Sonography

3

DMS 127

High Resolution Sonography

3

DMS 130

Clinical Sonography I

2

 

(1-2 days per week, January and February)

 

 

(32 hours per week, begins in late February)

 

Session III Summer I (8 weeks)
clinic throughout all weeks,

Total Credits 8

DMS 152

Obstetrical Sonography I

3

DMS 155

Fetal and Neonatal Anomalies*

3

DMS 140

Clinical Sonography II

2

 

4 days per week

 

Session IV Summer II (6 weeks)

Total Credits 5

DMS 245

Obstetrical Sonography II

3

DMS 155

Fetal and Neonatal Anomalies (contd.)

*see below

DMS 255

Clinical Sonography III

2

 

4 days per week

 

Session V (September-December)

Total Credits 9

DMS 265

Introduction to Vascular Sonography

3

DMS 277

Interventional Sonography

1

DMS 287

Journal and Case Study Review

1

DMS 290

Clinical Sonography IV

4

 

4 days per week

 

Session VI (January–March)

Total Credits 6

DMS 282

Issues in Sonography

1

DMS 297

Comprehensive Registry Review

3

DMS 300

Clinical Sonography V

2

 

4 days per week

 

Program total credits 48

*Fetal and Neonatal Anomalies runs for the entire 14 weeks, encompassing Session III and IV. Credits assigned in session III.

See Diagnostic Medical Sonography Course Descriptions.