The mission of the Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography is to provide undergraduate students with academic and clinical foundations to competently perform as entry-level Sonographers that provide quality patient care, actively participate in the profession, and pursue life-long learning. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers are skilled professionals in the medical field that use sound waves for the evaluation of the human anatomy including all major organs of the abdomen, pelvis, and obstetrics. They are a part of an integral health care team requiring highly skilled and competent professionals.
Role of the Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Diagnostic medical sonographers use special imaging equipment that directs sound waves into a patient’s body (in a procedure commonly known as an ultrasound, sonogram, or echocardiogram) to assess and diagnose various medical conditions.
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certification
Students successfully completing the Associate of Science degree program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography are eligible to apply for admission to write the certification examination administered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Successful completion of the ARDMS examinations provides licensure to practice as a registered sonographer.
Overview of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Associate of Science Program
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Associate of Science degree program requires completion of 124.5 quarter credit hours in 27 months (full-time). The degree curriculum integrates didactic and clinical instruction with increasing expectations at each level. A combination of courses from the general education/core and the diagnostic medical sonography major are required. Clinical sites utilized by the program are geographically dispersed. Students may have to travel outside of the local area for clinical placements. Students must complete a separate application to the program and secure formal admission.
The goal of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is to prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.
Graduates of this program will develop skills to:
- Be clinically competent to perform appropriate procedures and record anatomic, pathologic, and/or physiologic data;
- Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to exercise discretion and judgment in performance of diagnostic sonography;
- Demonstrate appropriate communication skills; and
- Demonstrate professionalism and growth in the profession.
The program will continually monitor program effectiveness through assessment and evaluation to ensure that the needs of the community are met.
General admission to South College does not guarantee admission to the Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography degree program. Applicants interested in the program are required to visit the college and meet individually with an admissions representative and program faculty to ascertain if their goals can be met by the college. Perspective students declaring Diagnostic Medical Sonography as their major must be generally admitted to South College and meet the following requirements in order to be considered for full admission to the program:
- Complete the Sonography program application form. The application deadline is available in the Department of Imaging Science at the applicable campus.
- Submit transcripts from all colleges/radiography programs attended evidencing a minimum college/radiography program GPA of 2.75.*
- Meet minimum score requirements on the college entrance examination, OR present documentation of a score of 19 or higher on the ACT Assessment Examination, OR present documentation of a 900 combined score or higher on the SAT I examination, OR meet the South College requirements for admission as a transfer student.
- Complete a personal interview with program faculty and area professionals and achieve a minimum score of 25 out of a possible 40.*
- Complete Anatomy & Physiology for Imaging Sciences or equivalent; College Algebra (or higher) or Statistics; College-Level General Physics and Lab; a communications skills course which may be met by a variety of courses including Speech, English, or Composition; Medical Terminology, and Introduction to Imaging Sciences and Patient Care. A minimum grade of “C” or better in a maximum of two attempts is required for each.* Withdrawal (W) grades are considered attempts.
- As required by the associated campus, complete and document a minimum of 5 clock hours of observation in a hospital sonography department (deadline available from Department of Imaging Science at the associated campus) or complete an on-campus information session. Each campus determines which of these will fulfill requirements based on availability in the associated community.
- Meet specific health and/or essential functions pertinent to the responsibilities performed by the Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. Drug and background screenings are required by clinical affiliates. Failure to pass the screenings may disqualify a student as a candidate for admission.
- Be able to commit to full attendance and participation in a rigorous educational program which requires class attendance, significant out-of-class preparation time, and clinical education assignments off-campus to geographically dispersed areas.
*Each of these areas may be used to rank applicants for full program admission. If minimum standards are met by more applying students than clinical seats, these rankings determine program admission.
Applicants to any Imaging Sciences program are ranked based on academic and interview scores. Emphasis is placed on math and science coursework related to Imaging Sciences at all degree levels. A minimum interview score of 25 out of a possible 40 is also required. Those programs admitting on a rotational basis do so annually and class sizes admitted are dependent on available clinical sites. In addition to course work, each student must provide proof of ability to perform the skills needed to practice in the imaging sciences effectively. Health care facilities must meet federal guidelines, and students must also meet these requirements in order to be allowed to gain clinical experience in these facilities. To meet these requirements, each student must supply proof of a negative TB test, hepatitis B vaccine or waiver (if allowed by clinical affiliate), physical exam certifying ability to function in the required capacity, proof of immunizations (including MMR immunity), and CPR training. Some clinical sites may require proof of flu immunization. A criminal background check and drug screen are required for admission. If the background check reveals previous convictions, it is up to each clinical site to determine the eligibility of students to attend clinical at the site. Students who are denied clinical experiences due to past convictions may be unable to progress in the program which will result in failure to complete the required courses for the program. In any case where a drug screen is positive and an authorized prescription is not produced to validate the presence of the drug in the individual’s system, a student may be disqualified as a candidate for admission. Upon notification of the drug screen results, the student will have 5 working days to provide prescription validation. Students are responsible for costs associated with any required testing.