Diagnostic Ultrasound/Sonography Program Overview
Our Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is designed to help students who already possess a degree to become an ultrasound technician. The full-time program is taught in both Degree and Diploma formats. Upon graduation, you will have the entry-level skills of a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer and be prepared to interview for positions in a variety of healthcare facilities. Come to the campus and scan on real ultrasound equipment just as you would if you were already working in a medical facility. Learn with your classmates under the direct supervision of our nationally-credentialed sonography instructors.
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Our ultrasound training program features online learning, on-campus labs, and a clinical externship at a medical facility. As a student, you'll receive a solid foundation in Ultrasound training with an opportunity to specialize in General Sonography focusing on abdominal and obstetrics/gynecological ultrasound or Cardiac Sonography also known as Echocardiography focusing on the heart (program concentrations vary by location). Both programs provide some vascular training.
Nature of the Work
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers use specialized ultrasound equipment to direct high frequency sound waves to produce dynamic visual images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the patient’s body. The sound waves are generated and received through a transducer which produces images on the equipment’s screen that may be videotaped, transmitted, or photographed for interpretation and diagnosis by a physician.
Sonographers begin an exam by explaining the procedure to the patient and recording any relevant medical history. They then select the appropriate equipment settings and direct the patient to move into positions that will provide the best view to perform the exam. Although techniques vary by the area being examined, sonographers usually spread a special gel on the skin to aid the transmission of sound waves.
Viewing the screen during the scan, Sonographers look for subtle visual cues that contrast healthy areas with unhealthy ones. They decide whether the images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes and select which ones to store and show to the physician. Sonographers take measurements, calculate values, and analyze the results in preliminary findings for the physicians.
In addition to working directly with patients, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers keep patient records and adjust and maintain equipment. They also may prepare work schedules, evaluate equipment purchases, or manage a sonography or diagnostic imaging department.
There are a variety of work environments for the Sonographer including; hospitals, doctors’ offices, imaging centers and mobile services. Work schedules are flexible and can be part-time, full-time or PRN (as needed).
Sonography Graduates with a General Concentration may specialize in Obstetric and Gynecologic sonography (images of the female reproductive system) or Abdominal Sonography (images of the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas).
- Obstetric and Gynecologic Sonographers specialize in the imaging of the female reproductive system. Included in the discipline is one of the more well-known uses of sonography: examining the fetus of a pregnant woman to track the baby's growth and health.
- Abdominal Sonographers inspect a patient's abdominal cavity to help diagnose and treat conditions primarily involving the gallbladder, bile ducts, kidneys, liver, pancreas, spleen, and male reproductive system. Abdominal Sonographers also are able to scan parts of the chest, although studies of the heart using sonography usually are done by Echocardiographers.
Sonography Graduates with a Cardiac Concentration specialize in the use of ultrasound to examine the heart chambers, valves, and vessels are referred to as Cardiac Sonographers, or Echocardiographers. They use ultrasound instrumentation to create images called echocardiograms. An echocardiogram may be performed while the patient is either resting or physically active. Sonographers may administer medication to physically active patients to assess their heart function. Cardiac Sonographers also may assist physicians who perform other procedures.Contact Us Today - Become an Ultrasound Technician.