Full-Time Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound)

The Bachelor's degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography provides a complimentary balance between professional education and liberal arts to enhance ones intellect, spirituality, creativity, and a global perspective on world culture supporting the Trinity of Learning.

Administering an ultrasound

Key Benefits and Highlights

  • Hybrid format. The core curriculum will be traditional on-campus with the sonography core courses being held on-campus in the every other weekend format with a few courses conducted fully on-line.
  • Receive a liberal arts education through Misericordia's core curriculum to adapt to various professional environments
  • Opportunities for financial aid and scholarships as a full-time student
  • Eligibility to apply for exams through ARDMS, the most recognized credentialing organization for sonographers (www.ardms.org)
  • Option to sit for the ARRT Sonography exam (www.arrt.org)
  • Access to greater career opportunities and advancement
  • Ability to experience campus and college life as a full-time, resident student

Employment Opportunities

  • The demand for sonographers is expected to continue and grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, the job outlook is anticipating an increase in job opportunities of 39% by 2022.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks diagnostic medical sonographers as the sixth fastest growing occupation in the country through 2022. Furthermore, the projected 10-year growth rate for the occupation in Pennsylvania is far above the state average at 36 percent, according to Hanover Research, which was retained by Misericordia University to gauge academic program’s market viability.

Full-Time B.S. DMS Admissions Requirements and Process

All applicants must follow the University application process.

Applicants to the BS entry level are expected to have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (and/or class rank in top half of the high school graduating class) and a combined SAT score of 950 (math and critical reading) for students who took the SAT prior to March 5, 2016, or 1030 for students who took the SAT after March 5, 2016; or a minimum 23 ACT composite score. Applicants are expected to have taken minimum 3 years of high school math to include algebra and 2 years of high school science all with a minimum grade of “C”. High school physics is recommended.

Transfer applications to the BS entry level will follow the University's transfer policies and will be considered based on clinical placement availability. All transfer transcripts are expected to have a minimum GPA of 2.75, all prerequisite courses with a “C’ or higher, and no more than one course indicating grade replacement.

  • Prerequisite courses are Anatomy & Physiology I & II; Physics; Ethics; Composition; and Algebra or Statistics (do not all have to be completed prior to entry into the program)

Misericordia University reviews individual applications carefully, and the above stated standards should be seen only as general guidelines. The Director of Admissions and individual department chairs reserve the right to exercise discretion in any admissions decision.

The sonography core classes (for both certificate and entry level BS students) are held every other weekend with 32 hours of clinical attendance occurring during the week during the last 4 semesters, including summer. Refer to catalog description for Sonography Certificate option.

Full-Time B.S. DMS Curriculum

Fall
Spring
Core: Anatomy and Physiology I or Structure and Function I* 4Anatomy and Physiology II or Structure and Function II*4
Core: HIS/POL3Core: Physics 135 or Physics 117*4
Core: Behavioral Science3Core: Intro to Philosophy3
Core: Math Bank A*3Core: Religion3
Core: Fine Arts3Core: English3
16 17
Fall
Spring
Core: Behavioral Science3Core: Math Bank B Statistics3
Core: Philosophy3DMS 340 Pathophysiology for Healthcare (on-line)3
Core: English3Core: Fine Arts3
DMS 101 Intro to Sonography2Core: Religion3
MI 106 Medical Terminology1Free Elective3
Core: HIS/POL315
15
Summer
DMS 112 Sonography Patient Care1
FallSpring

DMS 102 Intro to Sono Lab

1DMS 117 Abdominal Sonography 3

DMS 107 Ultrasound Physics

3DMS 122 Pelvic Sonography3

DMS 107L US Physics Lab

0DMS 127 High Resolution Sono3

DMS 111 Sonography Cross Sectional Anatomy

3DMS 117L Abdominal Lab0

Research Methods

3DMS 122L Pelvic Sono Lab0

Free Elective

3
DMS 130 Clinic I2
13Free Elective3

14
Summer
DMS 150 Obstetrical Sonography3
DMS 265 Intro to Vascular3
DMS 265L Intro to Vascular Lab0
DMS 181 Clinical Sonography II4
10
FallSpring
DMS 155 Fetal and Neonatal Anomalics3DMS 307 Pathology and Clinical Integration3
DMS 305 Intermediate Vascular3DMS 282 Issues in Sonography1
DMS 287 Journal and Case Study1DMS 281 Clinical Sonography IV2
DMS 277 Interventional Sonography1DMS major elective3
DMS 271 Clinical Sonography III4DMS 420 Current Trends and Practices3
1212
One university writing course (151) is required
Two writing intensive courses required
* Sonography core pre-requisite courses

Accreditation

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) located at 25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763. Website address is www.caahep.org. Phone 727-210-2350.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography to Medical Imaging Comparison


Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Medical Imaging

Similarities

Both professions require individuals to be properly educated, detail oriented, and have a desire to work in a direct patient care field. Each of the two fields produce diagnostic images that are interpreted by a qualified physician to assist the patient in acquiring an accurate diagnosis.

Job Titles

Sonographer
Ultrasound Technologist

Radiographer
Radiologic Technologist

Roles

Sonography images from the unborn to the geriatric; head to toe using high frequency soundwaves to produce images of internal anatomical structures.

Sonographers are responsible for performing the examination, optimizing image quality, assessing the image, and generating a worksheet to describe the examination findings to assist the interpreting physician in making the final diagnosis and report.

Diagnostic radiographic images, Computed Tomography, Mammography, Cardiac Catheterization, Special Procedures and Bone Densitometry images are produced utilizing ionizing radiation. The images may evaluate bony anatomy and/or internal organs.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging utilizes a magnetic field and radiofrequency pulses to produce diagnostic images.

Radiation Therapy employs radiation to treat malignancies of many parts of the body.

Radiographers and individuals credentialed in specialty areas are responsible for acquiring quality images or administering treatment with great attention to radiation protection practices for the patient and the public.

Specialty Areas

Abdominal
Breast
Gynecology
Obstetrics
Thyroid
Urology
Vascular

Computed Tomography (CT)
Nuclear Medicine
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Mammography
Cardiac Catheterization
Mammography
Special Procedures
Bone Densitometry
Radiation Therapy

Employment Opportunities

Sonography specialties and areas in which sonographers can be employed include, but not limited to:

  • General Sonography departments in a hospital or out-patient imaging center (abdominal, thyroid, pelvis, OB, vascular)
  • Mobile Imaging
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatric Hospital
  • Perinatology centers
  • Urology office
  • Vascular surgeon offices
  • Women’s Imaging Centers

Medical Imaging professionals have many employment opportunities that include:

  • Medical Imaging (Radiology) departments in a hospital
  • Out-patient Imaging Centers
  • Mobile Imaging
  • Pediatric Hospital
  • Pain Management Clinics
  • Urology office
  • Women’s Imaging Centers
  • Cancer Treatment Centers

Professional Societies/National Credentialing Organization

SDMS - www.sdms.org
AIUM - www.aium.org
ARDMS - www.ardms.org
ARRT(S) -www.arrt.org

ASRT – www.asrt.org
ARRT – www.arrt.org

Program Accreditation Information

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) through the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS)

Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)

Course Descriptions

DMS 101 Introduction to Sonography, 2 credits

This course will focus on introducing the student to the field of diagnostic medical sonography. Topics include, but are not limited to; the history and foundations for the use of medical ultrasound as a diagnostic tool; medical terminology specific to sonography; ergonomic considerations; clinical assessment; and role of medical imaging modalities with emphasis on correlations to sonographic examinations. The attributes of professionalism will be appraised through discussion of communication skills, medical ethics, legal issues, scope of practice, certification, and accreditation.

DMS 102 Introduction to Sonography Lab, 1 credit

This lab course introduces the student to the psychomotor skills for the performance of sonographic examinations. Emphasis is placed on normal anatomy recognition, image optimization, and ability to acquire high quality diagnostic sonographic images.

DMS 107/107L Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation / Lab, 3 credits

This course will familiarize the student with diagnostic ultrasound principles and instrumentation. Physical principles will include; sound energy and its characteristics, the piezoelectric effect, properties of ultrasound waves, the speed of sound and propagation, pulsed Doppler, and color flow Doppler. The construction and operation of various types of ultrasound equipment and transducers will be discussed. Course work will include the topics of artifacts and adjustable physics parameters, as well as, sonographic units of measurement, equations, and display modes. The coursework will be focused on information pertaining to the national registry examinations in ultrasound physics and vascular physics.

DMS 111 Sonographic Cross-Sectional Anatomy, 3 credits

This course will include knowledge of cross sectional human anatomy as visualized using diagnostic ultrasound. The student will become familiar with the ultrasonic appearance of disease free organs, tissues and vessels of the human body. Normal and abnormal anatomical variants will also be addressed. Coursework will include recognition of abnormal pathological findings as diagnosed by ultrasound. Emphasis will be placed on teaching the students to identify sonographically normal cross sectional anatomy based on echogenicity, location and size relative to adjacent structures.

DMS 112 Sonography Patient Care, 1 credit

Sonography Patient Care is an extremely important course to the field of Medical Imaging and Sonography whose main purpose is to present the student with the various aspects involved in care of the patient. Topics to be included, but not limited to be: Communication techniques, history taking, aseptic/sterile techniques, body mechanics, vital signs, emergency situations, transfer techniques, isolation techniques, medical law, and standard precautions.

DMS 117/117L Abdominal Sonography/Lab, 3 credits

This course will focus on applying ultrasound as a diagnostic tool for evaluating the abdomen and all related structures. Coursework will include techniques for proper identification and representation of the normal and abnormal anatomical structures. Emphasis will be placed on the liver, gallbladder and biliary system, pancreas, spleen, urinary system, adrenal glands, gastrointestinal system, peritoneum and retroperitoneum, male pelvis, and non-cardiac chest. Lecture and laboratory experience will coincide appropriately to facilitate a simultaneous understanding of didactic and laboratory application.

DMS 122/122L Pelvic Sonography/Lab, 3 credits

This course introduces and relates the knowledge of gynecologic anatomy, pathology, and diagnostic sonography. This course will focus on applying ultrasound as a diagnostic tool for evaluating the pelvis and adjacent structures. The student will become accustomed to the sonographic procedures used to properly image the female pelvis and first trimester gestation. Coursework will include demonstrations and discussion on the proper scanning techniques, patient preparations, and positioning utilized to obtain optimum diagnostic images. Lecture and lab demonstrations will coincide appropriately to facilitate a simultaneous understanding of didactic and hands-on experience.

DMS 127 High Resolution Sonography, 3 credits

This course focuses on the anatomy, physiology, pathology and pathophysiology of the neck, thyroid, breast, scrotum, superficial aspect of the extremities, musculoskeletal, pediatric hip and the pediatric abdomen. Coursework will familiarize the student with scanning techniques and protocols to evaluate normal sonographic appearance, abnormal sonographic appearances, and the ability to identify specific pathological conditions as demonstrated on sonographic images. Correlation of pertinent clinical history, symptoms, clinical laboratory tests and other diagnostic procedures will be emphasized.

DMS 130 Clinical Sonography I, 2 credits

This course will provide students with an introduction into the hospital/clinical setting work experience. Students will utilize skills learned in prior classes of Introduction to Sonography as well as Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation and Sonographic Cross Sectional Anatomy. The student will be required to apply concurrent information obtained during didactic coursework. Students will also become exposed to sonograms including abdomen, pelvic, and small parts applications. All execution and hands-on experience gained by the student will be conducted under direct and indirect supervision of the qualified clinical instructor.

DMS 150 Obstetrical Sonography, 3 credits

Through didactic and interactive exercises, the student will explore fetal development from fertilization through the neonatal period. Students will learn calculation of gestational age, sonographic assessment of normal and anomalous development of fetal and extrafetal structures, maternal complications relating to fetal consequences, invasive testing procedures, and fundamentals of fetal echocardiography. The simulated lab will be utilized to facilitate application of didactic knowledge to the clinical setting.

DMS 155 Fetal and Neonatal Anomalies, 3 credits

This course will introduce the student to various fetal anomalies that can occur across the gestational period. Emphasis will be placed on identification of the pathological processes, sonographic appearances, correlation with the clinical history and diagnostic testing or procedures, and clinical management options. An introduction to normal and abnormal anatomy, scanning technique, and sonographic appearances of the neonatal brain will be provided.

DMS 181 Clinical Sonography II, 4 credits

This course sequels DMS 130: Clinical Sonography I, providing continued hospital/clinic setting work experience in an assigned clinical affiliate. Students will apply knowledge gained in previous course work and concurrently during Obstetrical Sonography and Fetal and Neonatal Anomalies courses to perform quality diagnostic sonography examinations. Refinement of technical parameters will continue to be developed to produce optimal images. Execution of sonographic examinations will be performed under direct and indirect supervision.

DMS 265/265L Introduction to Vascular Sonography/Lab, 3 credits

This course will introduce the student to vascular sonography. It will include the hemodynamics, pathology and pathophysiology of the vascular system. The student will be introduced to normal and abnormal vasculature and the differentiation between the venous and arterial systems. Discussion will include the clinical signs and symptoms and the appropriate diagnostic testing and treatment of various vascular diseases. Emphasis will be placed on the functional workings and settings associated with vascular procedures.

DMS 271 Clinical Sonography III, 4 credits

This course will provide continued hospital/clinic setting work experience for further development and progression in preparation of becoming an entry-level sonographer. Students will apply knowledge learned prior and concurrently with the didactic courses. The student will become familiar with interventional and vascular procedures performed in an ultrasound/vascular laboratory. Execution of sonographic examinations will be performed under direct or indirect supervision, dependent upon competency status.

DMS 277 Interventional Sonography, 1 credit

This course will focus on ultrasound-guided special procedures. Emphasis will be placed on how and why ultrasound is utilized as guidance during invasive procedures. The student will learn techniques in maintaining sterility during the procedure, as well as issues regarding the patient consent. Topics will include proper equipment and room set-up and clean-up techniques and laboratory requirements. Sonography in the operating room will also be addressed. Lecture and hands-on demonstrations will coincide appropriately to facilitate a simultaneous understanding of didactic and laboratory application.

DMS 281 Clinical Sonography IV, 2 credits

This final clinical course will provide continued hospital/clinic setting work experience. Students will be expected to apply knowledge learned in prior and concurrent courses to acquisition and appraisal of sonographic examinations. Emphasis will be placed on assisting students to refine equipment options for optimal image acquisition and communicating sonographic findings to the interpreting physician Execution of sonographic examinations will be performed under direct and indirect supervision. After completion of the required clinical hours and program requirements, the student will be eligible to apply to sit for the national certification examinations for physics, abdominal specialty and obstetric/gynecologic specialty.
Prerequisites: DMS 271

DMS 282 Issues in Sonography, 1 credit

This course prepares the student to transition from student to employee. A variety of topics will be researched and discussed to provide current insight into the future of the profession, resume and interview skills, certification versus accreditation, career opportunities, healthcare issues, and mechanisms for life-long learning.

DMS 287 Journal and Case Study Review, 1 credit

This course will include readings and reviews of widely known sonography publications and journals. The student will become familiar with the important use of literature review and research in the healthcare environment and the populations they serve. Sonographic case studies will be discussed and presented.

DMS 288 Focused Sonography, 3 credits

As the role of ultrasound technology continues to expand in arenas beyond the diagnostic role, it is important for sonographers to be cognizant of the medical value of the expanded non-traditional roles for patient outcomes. This seminar course will explore the role of sonography in interventional procedures, limited applications and developing specializations nationally and globally by various healthcare providers. Through research and analysis, various entities for use of ultrasound technology will be explored, as well as roles and scope of practice for the practitioner, and controversial issues. This course incorporates an introduction to information literacy and research methodologies.

DMS 305 Intermediate Vascular Sonography, 3 credits

This course will explore various cardiovascular pathological processes and appropriate sonographic testing procedures to aid in the diagnosis and treatment. Analysis of laboratory accuracy and methods for quality improvement will be developed. Application of theory to clinical testing will occur through laboratory experiences.

DMS 307 Pathology and Clinical Integration, 3 credits

This seminar-style course will integrate theory and clinical knowledge of various pathological findings and apply thorough analysis of sonographic and correlative imaging. Diagnostic testing and advanced treatment options as it applies to the various pathologies will be explored.

DMS 310 Breast Sonography, 2 credits

Breast sonography requires extensive knowledge in anatomy of the breast, physics of ultrasound, proper scanning technique and characteristics of pathology. This course will focus upon breast anatomy, correlation to mammography and the intricacy of proper scanning techniques. Classifications and types of benign and malignant pathology will be discussed in relationship to the expected sonographic characteristics. The course is designed for participants who desire an introductory course or as a review for the ARDMS, ARRT or American Society of Breast Surgeons breast specialty examination.

DMS 320 Advanced Vascular Sonography, 3 credits

This course will discuss the pathophysiology of various vascular diseases, associated sonographic findings, diagnostic interpretation criteria and current methods of treatment. Emphasis will be placed on techniques for performance and sonographic findings for advanced and less commonly performed vascular procedures.

DMS 330 Advanced Fetal and Pediatric Sonography, 3 credits

This course will discuss congenital heart disease with emphasis on diagnosis during the fetal stage, neonatal neurosonography and application of sonography specific to the pediatric population. Topics will include, but not limited to, fetal heart and cranial embryology, anomalous development and sonographic appearances of normal and pathological conditions. Neonatal sonographic application for congenital hip dysplasia and pyloric stenosis will be examined.

DMS 340 Pathophysiology for Healthcare, 3 credits

This course will discuss the pathophysiology and genetic basis of disease with emphasis on the causes, manifestations, treatment protocols, and prognoses of commonly occurring disease processes. Topics will include, but not be limited to, genetic, infectious, immunologic, cardiovascular, neoplastic, endocrine, cardiovascular, and renal diseases. Emphasis is placed on selected diseases encountered by the sonographer.

DMS 413 Cooperative Education, 1-4 credits

This is a variable credit course which allows the working credentialed sonographer the opportunity to combine academic study with work experience to further explore leadership concepts. Credits are dependent on number of hours to be completed, and assignments are adjusted accordingly.

DMS 420 Current Trends and Practices in Sonography, 3 credits

This course will take an in-depth approach to evaluate external and internal factors that impact the realm of sonography as part of the dynamic healthcare environment. Topics to be included, but not limited to, are technological advances, economic, legal, federal regulations, moral, and ethical issues.

DMS 430 Independent Study-Sonography, 2 credits

This course focuses on utilizing sonographic knowledge gained from within the major and clinical experience to plan and implement a specialized project which would enhance the field of sonography in the employment setting, profession, or the community.

DMS 472 Sonography Clinical Externship, 2-5 credits

Clinical externships provide an opportunity for the sonographer to expand his/her knowledge in specialty fields or a different area of sonography. Areas may include, but not limited to, perinatology, vascular, cardiac, or pediatrics. The sonographer (student) is responsible to secure a clinical facility willing to provide quality clinical education in the specialty area desired. In conjunction with the Chair of Sonography, a clinical education affiliate contract with the facility will be required prior to commencement of the externship. The student can determine the value for the number of credits at a ratio of 120 clinical hours = 1 credit up to a maximum of 5 credits.

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