Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound)

Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ultrasound) is a specialized healthcare field requiring well-educated individuals who must engage themselves with compassion for others, strive for excellence in examination acquisition, and exhibit confidence as a member of the healthcare team. This program supports the university's mission reflecting the values and attitudes of mercy, service, justice, and hospitality. More specifically, the Diagnostic Medical Sonography faculty and staff believe and promote that each individual inherently possesses uniqueness and has a quest to stay abreast of current practices within the healthcare environment and their specialized practices to benefit themselves and the communities they serve.

Mission

Prepare sonographers to think critically, promote quality patient care, and stimulate curiosity for lifelong learning.

Program Options



Essential Functions and Technical Standards

Essential functions are defined as the requisites that all diagnostic medical sonographers and students must possess and have the capacity to complete with or without reasonable accommodations.


Introduction:


The practice of diagnostic medical sonography requires the individual to be proficient in the three learning domains; affective, cognitive, and psychomotor. In addition to these domains, the student sonographer must comply with the Profession’s Scope of Practice and Code of Ethics, along with a behavior that reflects honesty, integrity, and positive reputation. Each and every patient must receive a high level of quality care and an accurate outcome of a diagnostic medical sonogram.

Affective Domain

  • Interact effectively and sensitively using appropriate verbal, nonverbal, and written communication with faculty, colleagues, other members of the health care team, and patients/clients, and caregivers.
  • Read, write, and interpret written and nonverbal communication at a competency level that allows one to safely function in classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings.
  • Recognize the impact and influence of age, lifestyle, family or peer support, socioeconomic class, culture, beliefs, race, and abilities on faculty, peers, other members of the health care team, and patients/clients, and caregivers.
  • Emotional health for utilization of intellect, the exercise of good judgment, prompt completion of responsibilities and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with others. Ability to retain emotional composure when dealing with patients with acute and chronic illnesses, pathologies and poor prognosis.
  • Accept personal responsibility for all actions, reactions, and inactions.
  • Demonstrate responsibility for self-assessment, professional growth and development.
  • Effectively and consistently manage personal stress and appropriately respond to the stress of others.
  • Speak and write effectively in English to convey information to other individuals and groups.

Cognitive Domain

  • Comprehend, retain, recall, and apply complex information learned in required professional courses.
  • Read, comprehend, integrate, critically analyze, interpret, and apply information from written materials, demonstrations, lectures, laboratory sessions, and research literature, and other pertinent sources to develop and support the rationale for appropriate patient examination indications, clinical history, and sonographic findings.
  • Collect, organize, prioritize and document information to make safe, appropriate and timely decisions regarding patient care for the purposes of examination and communication to the interpreting physician.
  • Efficiently organize and prioritize multiple tasks, integrate and critically analyze information, and formulate applicable decisions.

Psychomotor Domain

  • The capacity to prepare for and respond to the challenges of any environment that requires a readiness for immediate and appropriate response. This requires training for emergencies as delineated within specific clinical environments (e.g., CPR, infection control), and a readiness and willingness to respond as needed.
  • The physical ability to assist patients on and off examination tables, transfer patients from transport device to table, push and/or pull transport devices, and sonographic equipment. The approximate lifting capacity is 50 pounds.
  • Physical mobility and dexterity to stand 50% of the day; bend, kneel or squat; arms to extend 120 degrees to axis of the body; wrists to pivot; and fingers to grasp sonographic equipment.
  • Visual ability to differentiate black, white, shades of gray and colors as related to sonographic imaging.
  • Hearing ability to respond to patient and healthcare team needs and for differentiation of audible Doppler signals.

Process:
Students must have their medical provider complete the program’s medical form which requires the provider to attest to the student’s ability to perform the essential functions listed above. It is the student’s responsibility to disclose any documented learning disabilities to their medical physician prior to completion of form. Changes in physical, mental, or emotional status that may prompt a request for reasonable accommodations must be communicated to the Department Chair.

If a student cannot demonstrate the skills and abilities listed above, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the Chair of Sonography prior to the start of the sonography program to discuss the procedural steps to request an appropriate accommodation in either the educational or clinical environment. The University uses independent clinical education sites that may or may not be willing or able to offer the same reasonable accommodations that are made available by the University.

For more information regarding requesting reasonable accommodations, visit the Office for Students with Disabilities.

Reasonable accommodations cannot be made retroactively. This means if the student fails to request accommodations and does not meet the standards defined for successful completion of an assignment, examination, practical examination or clinical education experience, the student will be subject to the policies and procedures defined in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Student Handbook and Clinical Education Manual or respective course syllabi regarding these matters.

Program Goals

The goals of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program options are designed to align with programmatic accreditation standards and the mission of the Department and the University.

BS Major, Full-time: Goals 1 through 5

BS, Part-Time Post Certification: Goals 3 through 5 as goals one and two have been achieved through former education to become a credentialed sonographer

Certificate: Goals 1 through 3

  1. To prepare competent entry level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.
  2. Apply knowledge and skills to succeed on national credential examinations
  3. Participate in activities to prepare for lifelong learning
  4. Understand global trends and issues in healthcare that may have impact on sonography practices
  5. Appreciate similarities and differences of individuals, professions, and cultures through a liberal arts curriculum.

The Department has identified student outcomes for each of the goals. Student outcomes are located here, in the University catalog.

Clinical Education Sites and Requirements

Clinical Education Sites
The program has affiliation agreements with numerous clinical sites, both hospitals and outpatient imaging centers, for students to gain the skills required to master the art of scanning and creating quality images. Every attempt is made to place students within a 60 minute drive from their geographical area; however, there may be times in which a further drive up to 90 minutes may be required. Students must have the financial and time availability to travel up to 90 minutes one way, if necessary for clinical placement. Transportation and all associated costs are the responsibility of the student.

Clinical Education Requirements
Accepted students must submit the following documentation prior to the start of the program:

  • FBI Background Check
  • State Background Check
  • Child Abuse Clearance
  • Health Physical to include documentation of immunizations, Tuberculin test and Hepatitis B vaccination (form provided)
  • CPR certification for health care providers through the American Heart Association, Red Cross or an organization approved by the program
  • Proof of Medical Insurance Coverage
  • HIPAA education

Individual clinical sites may require additional documentation, such as drug screening which varies in the time frame of being tested and entering the clinical setting; thus, the clinical coordinator will inform you as to when to have the test done. Clinical education requirements are at the expense of the student.

Program Policies and Procedures Student Handbook Clinical Policies (PDF Document)

Accreditation

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) through the Joint Review Committee on Accreditation for Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS).

CAAHEP can be contacted at 25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763. Phone 727-210-2350. Website address is www.caahep.org

JRCDMS can be contacted at 6021 University Boulevard, Suite 500, Ellicott City, MD 21043. Phone number 443-973-3251. Web address is www.jrcdms.org


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