Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Award Offered: Associate in Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College is a two year Associate in Applied Science Degree program. A new DMS class is selected each year to begin the program in the fall term. DMS program students continue the program for four consecutive semesters and graduate with a degree at the end of the fall term the following year. As a CAAHEP accredited program, graduates may become registered through the ARDMS in Abdomen or OB/GYN as early as 60 days prior to graduation. This program of study is designed to provide didactic and clinical training in the field of general diagnostic medical sonography (ultrasound). Sonographers, also known as Ultrasound Technologists, or Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, use advanced imaging procedures. The student will receive training in the fields of acoustic principles and safety, abdominal, obstetrical, gynecologic, and small parts sonography. Graduates may have the opportunity to complete an additional semester upon graduation to receive a Vascular Certificate for the practice of Vascular Sonography.
Seeking OB Ultrasound Volunteers!
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program will be scheduling FREE NON-DIAGNOSTIC OB ULTRASOUNDS for spring semester 2015 on Thursday afternoons and Friday mornings (January 15th - April 24th). Ultrasounds are performed by students in the presence of an ARDMS certified OB sonographer. Appointments are first come, first serve, and all participants must have had at least one well baby ultrasound, their doctor's approval, and a signed LBW Doctor Consent Form.
Consent Forms may be available upon request at your doctor's office or printed from this web page.
Attention Diagnostic Medical Sonography Applicants!
Applications for the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program are now available through the "Program Application" link on this web page. Applicants should use the Application Checklist and must include the Handbook Verification From (also from this page) with submitted applications. Completed applications must be submitted in person or post marked by June 15, 2015. All prerequisites must be met by the end of summer term 2015 to apply.
Sonography at a Glance
Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) is a diagnostic procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to create detailed images of the human body. Sonographers use state-of-the-art technology to scan patients and obtain images of the abdomen, pelvis, small parts, heart, blood vessels, and fetus to aid in the diagnosis of a disease. Sonography is a profession that requires a high degree of independence, judgment, knowledge, maturity, and stamina. The diagnostic medical sonographer is a skilled person qualified academically and clinically to perform ultrasound exams while working closely with a qualified Physician and/or Radiologist. To create an ultrasound image the sonographer must have an in-depth knowledge of physics, disease processes, human anatomy, and sonographic technique. Physicians depend on the sonographer's knowledge to evaluate normal and abnormal images of various organ tissues. To work successfully, the sonographer must be a sensitive, caring individual dedicated to helping others. The role of ultrasound in medicine is continually growing. New applications and imaging equipment are in a constant state of development. Its continued growth and development are dependent on highly qualified and well-trained medical sonographers. With a current shortage of skilled health care workers, demand is high for sonographers across the country. Starting salaries vary greatly from one location to the next. Experience, position title, formal education, specializations, and time on the job tend to increase the sonographer's income.
The sonographer provides patient services in a variety of medical settings in which the physician is responsible for the use and interpretation of ultrasound procedures. In assisting physicians in gathering sonographic data, the diagnostic medical sonographer is able to obtain, review, and integrate pertinent patient history and supporting clinical data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results; perform appropiate procedures and record anatomical, pathological, and/or physiological data for interpretation by a physician; record and process sonographic data and other pertinent observations made during the procedure for presentation to the interpreting physician; exercise discretion and judgment in the performance of sonographic services; provide patient education related to medical ultrasound; and promote principles of good health.
Diagnostic medical sonographers may be employed in hospitals, clinics, private offices, and industry. Most full-time sonographers work about 40 hours a week; they may have evening, night, weekend hours, and times when they are on call and must be ready to report to work on short notice.
Diagnostic medical sonographers may specialize in obstetric and gynecologic sonography (the female reproductive system), abdominal sonography (the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas), neuro sonography (the brain), or breast sonography. In addition, sonographers may specialize in vascular technology or echocardiography.
The demand for sonographers, including suitably qualified educators, researchers, and administrators, continues to exceed the supply, with faster than average job growth anticipated. The supply and demand ratio affects salaries, depending on experience and responsibilities. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, the employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to grow through 2022 by 39%.
Potential and practicing sonographers should exhibit social perceptiveness, learning strategies, critical thinking skills, instructional skills, active listening, active learning, reading comprehension, and written/oral expression.
The national median annual wage of diagnostic medical sonographers was $60,350 in 2012.
*US Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at LBW Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS).
Upon graduation from the program, students will be eligible to apply to take the national certification examinations offered by the ARDMS. By successfully completing the certification exams, graduates will become "registered sonographers".
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