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Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Associate of Applied Science)

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program is designed to prepare students for a rewarding career in this highly specialized health science field. Sonographers, also known as Ultrasound Technicians, work closely with physicians and other healthcare professionals as a trusted member of the patient care team, as patient diagnosis is dependent on the sonographer’s ability to produce quality diagnostic images which are interpreted by a physician. The program includes a comprehensive clinical experience through an externship (400 total hours) at a medical facility. This provides the student with practical hands-on experience in the field of ultrasound. This practical experience will be completed under the mentorship of qualified sonographers and physicians. Students who successfully graduate from this associate’s degree program may be eligible to seek employment in a variety of healthcare settings including: hospitals, outpatient clinics, or private practice.

The areas of concentration in this program will include ultrasound physics and instrumentation, along with abdominal, reproductive systems, obstetrical, superficial structures, and vascular scanning. DMS core courses are designed to prepare competent entry-level general/vascular sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

Upon successful graduation from this program, graduates should be able to

  • obtain patient history and lab results pertinent to the ultrasound exam;
  • understand the anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology of organ systems;
  • work independently using appropriate discretion and judgment;
  • perform diagnostic ultrasound examinations with competency;
  • recognize the normal and abnormal sonographic characteristics of organs:
  • learn the protocols for a logical and thorough survey of organ systems;
  • evaluate sonographic images for usefulness as a diagnostic tool;
  • provide a diagnostic impression to the interpreting physician using oral and/or written communication; and
  • work effectively with other healthcare professionals to promote patient safety and quality patient care.

Area of Concentration

ANP 1130Anatomy and Physiology: Organs and Systems

4 credits

DMS 1010Ultrasound Instrumentation and Physics Principles

4 credits

DMS 1150Anatomy and Physiology for Ultrasound

4 credits

DMS 1160Introduction to Ultrasound Scanning

3 credits

DMS 1400Female Repoductive Scanning

3 credits

DMS 1450Hemodynamic Principles

3 credits

DMS 2050Pathophysiology for Ultrasound

4 credits

DMS 2110Obstetrical Scanning I

3 credits

DMS 2120Abdominal Scanning I

3 credits

DMS 2130Vascular Scanning I

3 credits

DMS 2210Obstetrical Scanning II

3 credits

DMS 2220Abdominal Scanning II

3 credits

DMS 2230Vascular Scanning II

3 credits

DMS 2310Obstetrical Scanning III

3 credits

DMS 2320Abdominal Scanning III

3 credits

DMS 2330Vascular Scanning III

3 credits

DMS 2420Ultrasound Physics

4 credits

DMS 2700Diagnostic Medical Sonography Externship

12 credits

MED 1010Medical Terminology

4 credits

PHY 1010Physics

4 credits

Total Credit Hours:76

Foundation

EDU 1020Career Exploration/Planning

4 credits

Total Credit Hours:4

General Education

These courses are to be selected in consultation with the Program Director so as to effectuate a balanced educational program. Select a total (minimum) of 16 credit hours as indicated below:

Communications

8 credits

Mathematics

4 credits

Social and Behavioral Sciences

4 credits

Total Credit Hours:16

Total Credit Hours: 96

NOTE:  The DMS program at Virginia College (Birmingham) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) on recommendation from the Joint Review Committee of Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.  Ultrasound students must meet competency standards for obstetrical, abdominal, and vascular scanning at each level (I, II, and III) prior to clearance for enrollment in any of the scanning classes at the next level.  This program is not designed to prepare graduates for employment in any state other than Alabama.  Prospective and current students and graduates, are responsible for researching and understanding all examination, registration, or licensing requirements in any state in which they seek to become registered, licensed, or employed.

This program is not intended to prepare graduates for employment in any state other than Alabama. At this time it is not required to become certified, registered, or licensed in the State of Alabama in order to work as an Ultrasound Technologist.  However, graduates may find certification to be advantageous in the employment market and that some employers may require certification before hiring a graduate or within a period of time after employment.  The College makes no representation, promise, or guarantee that participation in or completion of this program assures either passage of any certification examination or acceptance by any state board.  Qualified students who meet the appropriate prerequisite requirements according to the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) may be eligible to take the physics examination (SPI examination) after they complete the last class of physics in the curriculum.  Qualified graduates may be eligible to take the ARDMS technology examinations (abdominal, obstetrics and gynecology, and vascular) or the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) examinations.