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Diagnostic Medical Sonography

If you are investigative and you want to help in the diagnosis of a patient’s illness or injury, a career in sonography might be right for you.

Sonography is a medical imaging procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of organs, tissues or blood flow inside the body. This accredited program prepares you to use ultrasound machines and other specialized equipment to perform diagnostic exams on patients. You’ll study normal and abnormal anatomy, pathophysiology of the abdomen, small body parts, OB/GYN and vascular structures.

Whether you want to work in a large hospital system, at an outpatient imaging center or at a specialty office, this program will provide you with the knowledge and hands-on clinical skills to enter the sonography workforce within 21 months.

Program Goals

The DMS program goal is to prepare competent entry level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. Educating in all 3 learning domains is accomplished through the strategically integrated program content including didactic, laboratory, and clinical internship.

  • Assessment of the cognitive learning domain is accomplished through classroom discussion, written examinations, and laboratory assignments. Application of knowledge is assessed through completion of sonographic patient scans during clinical rotations.
  • Assessment of the psychomotor learning domain is accomplished through completion of laboratory assignments and clinical competency evaluations during clinical internship.
  • Assessment of the affective learning domain is accomplished through observations of students in the classroom, laboratory setting, and at clinical sites.
  • Graduates gaining full ARDMS credential provides additional validation of program course content and delivery.

Application Process

Please complete the following steps for consideration to participate in the DMS program selective interview process. All application materials are due by 6/28/2024 to the Registration Office in Building 15 (1810 N Greene Street, MS 2151).

  1. Applicants are responsible for gaining admission to SCC and submitting official transcripts documenting completion of prerequisites to the SCC Transcript Office.
  2. Complete the application worksheet and provide requested documentation to include:
    • Unofficial transcripts of all college credits
    • Volunteer documentation
    • Three professional reference letters in sealed envelope
  3. Submission deadline for Fall quarter is June 28th of the year of application. Applications must be postmarked by 6/28 or dropped off at the Registration Office in Building 15 by 6/28.
  4. Ensure current email address on file in ctcLink for notification of interview date and time (Interviews scheduled for 7/25-7/26) if application is complete.

Applicants should be aware that National Background Checks conducted during the first and fourth quarters of the program to ensure records are free of felonies or other infractions that might preclude clinical placement or employment in a field with access to vulnerable patients.

Within 30 days of clinical assignment, required immunizations and drug screening are collected.  Additional information distributed during the first quarter of the program.

Sonography courses are limited to students officially enrolled in the DMS program.

Additional Application Requirements

Program start: Fall (competitive entry)
Pre-requisites: Yes
Program length: 7 quarters
Number of students each start: 16
Contact: Michelle Gendusa 509-533-8196 | Bill Rambo 509-533-7038 | Megan Fadeley 509-533-7039
Applications deadline: June 30th

Accreditation

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon recommendation of The Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
9355 - 113th St. N, #7709
Seminole, Florida, 33775-7709
Phone: 727-210-2350
www.caahep.org

JRC-DMS
6021 University Boulevard, Suite 500, Ellicott City, MD 21043
Phone: 443-973-3251
Fax: 866-738-3444
https://www.jrcdms.org/

  1. Communicate effectively and in a professional manner with physicians, patients and other members of the healthcare team.
  2. Competently perform sonographic examinations of the abdomen, superficial structures and obstetrics & gynecology disciplines on patients, while tailoring the examinations to enhance the presence of abnormalities.
  3. Comprehend a clinical understanding of the anatomy, physiology, pathology, diagnosis and treatment of the major adult and fetal diseases and deformities.
  4. Establish the ability to quantify, subjectively evaluate and interpret the data collected to assist the physician in arriving at a diagnosis.
  5. Strive to meet the health care needs of the community.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography is an allied Health Profession where non-physician professionals perform a diagnostic procedure using high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce dynamic visual images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body.  Sonography is used to examine many parts of the body:  abdomen, breasts, OB/GYN, thyroid, scrotum, and blood vessels.  It is also used to guide needles for tissue biopsy or drain an abnormal fluid collection from a body cavity.  Sonography is a radiation-free imaging modality and procedures are performed at the request of a physician.

A diagnostic medical sonographer is a highly-skilled professional who uses specialized equipment to create images of structures inside the human body that are used by physicians to make a medical diagnosis.  Prior to starting a procedure, the sonographer must obtain an appropriate history, assess physical findings and review pertinent laboratory data.  This information is used to tailor the procedure to ensure comprehensive and diagnostic images are acquired.

The program meets the criteria set forth by the Joint Review Committee on Diagnostic Medical Sonography and is accredited by CAAHEP.  Upon completion and graduation of the program, graduates are able to take the national Abdomen and OB/GYN registry examinations administered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

Admission Requirements:

  • Sonography courses are limited to students of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program
  • Active email account required
  • Appropriate math score
  • Self-place into English
  • A 2.5 grade in each prerequisite course is required. 
  • Completion of all math and science prerequisites within the last five years to ensure current competency in content.
  • Admission to the DMS program is competitive and based on panel interview, pre-requisite course GPA, additional math, science, and healthcare-related coursework, quality of reference letters, and completion of 40 hours volunteerism in healthcare and ultrasound.
  • A 2.0 (79%) is required in every program course to proceed to the next quarter
  • A national background check is conducted 1st and 4th quarters of the program
  • Immunizations, current healthcare provider CPR, and 7-hour bloodborne pathogen training are required prior to the clinical internship in the 4th quarter
  • Selective clinical sites require a ten-panel drug screen within 30 days of clinical internship
  • Return to the program is based on "space available" and requires remedial work to demonstrate knowledge base appropriate with program re-entry point.
  • After re-entry, students may only repeat a class one time. A repeat of courses must be completed within two years.
Admission Recommendations:
  • Computer skills are recommended
  • Some students find completion of CHEM 120 Organic and Biochemistry for Health Sciences, and CHEM 121 helpful to learning in the program
After entering the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, students are required to maintain a minimum of a 2.0 grade in each class before proceeding to the next quarter.  Students need to realize that clinical site placement could require relocation outside of the immediate Spokane area for 10 months.

Breaking Ground on Your Pathway


Prepare for College-level Math

Math placement is required for this program. If your math placement is below MATH& 146, you’ll need to take the following sequence of courses, starting from the level you placed into:
AE 48 → MATH 87 → MATH 88 → MATH& 107 or MATH& 146

Prepare for College-level English

English placement is required for this program. If your English placement is below ENGL& 101, you’ll need to take following sequence of courses, starting from the level you placed into:
AE 36 → AE 46 and 47 (taken together) → AE 67 → ENGL 99 → ENGL& 101

Plan Your Courses

Meet with our counselors to customize this plan just for you. You can also search the quarterly schedule for class days and times.

Program Map for

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Choose program map:

Total Prerequisites Credits: 45

Total Program Credits: 99

Prerequisites

First Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
BIOL&160
General Biology with Lab   1
5
ENGL&101
English Composition I  
5
MATH&146
Introduction to Statistics   2
5
Total Credits
 
15

Second Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
BIOL&241
Human A & P 1  
5
CMST&210
Interpersonal Communication  
5
HED 125
Medical Terminology  
5
Total Credits
 
15

Third Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
BIOL&242
Human A & P 2  
5
HED 109
Human Physiology and Disease  
5
PHYS 100
Introductory Physics  
5
Total Credits
 
15

NOTE: You must apply and be accepted into the program before taking the following courses


Program Courses

First Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
SONO 111
Introduction to DMS  
2
SONO 112
Vascular for General Sonographer  
4
SONO 121
Human Cross-Section Anatomy  
4
SONO 125
Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation I  
5
Total Credits
 
15

Second Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
SONO 131
Diagnostic Ultrasound; Abdomen & Male Pelvis  
4
SONO 132
Abdominal Case Studies & Journal Review  
4
SONO 133
Diagnostic Ultrasound; Female Pelvis & 1st tri OB  
4
SONO 135
Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation II  
5
Total Credits
 
17

Third Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
SONO 123
Cardiac for General Sonographer  
4
SONO 141
Diagnostic Ultrasound; 2nd and 3rd trimester  
4
SONO 144
OB/GYN Case Studies and Journal Review  
4
SONO 145
Diagnostic Ultrasound; Small Parts  
3
Total Credits
 
15

Fourth Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
SONO 142
Seminar in Sonography  
4
SONO 143
Sonography Clinical I  
9
Total Credits
 
13

Fifth Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
SONO 253
Sonography Clinical II  
13
Total Credits
 
13

Sixth Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
SONO 263
Sonography Clinical III  
13
Total Credits
 
13

Seventh Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
SONO 273
Sonography Clinical IV  
13
Total Credits
 
13

1 This course is a prerequisite for BIOL& 241 but may be waived for transfer students who have completed Anatomy and Physiology at another institution. Please consult your adviser.
2 Or any counslor approved 100 level math course.

Career Info and Technical Standards

A clear understanding of a sonographer’s role will help an applicant inventory their personal mental and physical abilities to ensure success in their new career. Here a few important topics taken directly from the occupational summary for a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer at O*NET OnLine.
Anyone interested in Diagnostic Medical Sonography as a career are encouraged to visit this website and other helpful links listed below for more detailed descriptions and additional information.

Tasks

  • Prepare patient for exam by explaining procedure, transferring patient to ultrasound table, scrubbing skin and applying gel, and positioning patient properly.

  • Operate ultrasound equipment to produce and record images of the motion, shape, and composition of blood, organs, tissues, or bodily masses, such as fluid accumulations.

  • Observe screen during scan to ensure that image produced is satisfactory for diagnostic purposes, adjusting equipment as required.

  • Observe and care for patients throughout examinations to ensure their safety and comfort.

  • Determine whether scope of exam should be extended, based on findings.

  • Coordinate work with physicians or other healthcare team members, including aiding during invasive procedures.

  • Provide sonogram and oral or written summary of technical findings to physician for use in medical diagnosis.

  • Perform clerical duties, such as scheduling exams or special procedures, keeping records, or archiving computerized images.

Abilities

  • Oral comprehension – the ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

  • Near vision – the ability to see details at close range.

  • Oral expression – the ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

  • Problem sensitivity – the ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

  • Written comprehension – the ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine to exact positions

Skills

  • Active listening – giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

  • Social perceptiveness – being aware of other’ reactions and understanding the way they react as they do.

  • Speaking – talking to others to convey information effectively.

  • Critical thinking – using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

  • Monitoring – monitoring and assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

  • Active learning – understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

  • Time management – managing one’s own time and the time of others

  • Coordination – adjusting actions in relation to the actions of others.

  • Complex problem solving – identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

  • Service Orientation – actively looking for ways to help people

 
  • The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography is an organization for sonographers to promote, advance, and educate its members and the medical community about ultrasound application. This website provides a great overview of careers, job posting, and educational opportunities for members.
  • The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography administers examinations and awards credential in areas of ultrasound. Graduates of the DMS program at SCC are able to take both the Abdomen and OB/GYN registry 60 days prior to graduation.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics website offers in-depth information on the field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography including average wages, work environment and more.

Estimated costs for completing this program

 
WA Resident
Non-Resident
International
Tuition
$ 15,037
$ 18,942
$ 34,822
Books
$ 150
$ 150
$ 150
Course Fees
$ 1,642
$ 1,642
$ 1,642
Institutional Fees
$ 5,353
$ 5,353
$ 5,353
Total Costs
$ 22,182
$ 26,087
$ 41,967

Costs for completing a degree or certificate can vary. For more information about costs, visit our How Much Does it Cost? page.

Outcome measures as set by the JRC-DMS* are reported on an annual basis in September.

JRC-DMS Outcome Measure JRC-DMS Standard     SCC DMS Program Outcomes by Graduation Year
    2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
Retention Rate 70% 94% 87.5% 100% 94% 87.5% 100% 87% 83.3%
Job Placement >75% 93% 100% 100% 100% 100% 94% 100% 80%
Credential Success >60% ABD: 14/14 OB: 7/7 ABD: 13/13
OB:3/3
ABD:16/16
OB-GYN 8/8
ABD:15/15
OB-GYN:4/4
ABD:12/12
OB-GYN:5/5
ABD:15/16
OB-GYN:5/5
ABD:14/14
OB-GYN:3/5
ABD:13/13
OB-GYN:5/5

*JRC-DMS
6021 University Blvd, Ste 500
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Phone: 443-973-3251
Fax: 866-738-3444
jrcdms.org

Have a question? Let's hear it.

Cassandra Stein

Program Director
B.S., Oregon Institute of Technology
cassandra.stein@scc.spokane.edu
509-533-8127

For transcript review and pre-requisite transfer questions please contact one of our dedicated counselors