Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Overview

students taking an ultrasoundDiagnostic Medical Sonography is one of the most highly developed and complex diagnostic imaging modalities of the medical field. The field is rapidly changing and growing and promises to remain an important imaging technique which contributes to improved patient care. Diagnostic Medical Sonography involves the use of low intensity, high frequency acoustical waves to provide diagnostic information about human anatomy and pathology. Ultrasound is one of the more operator dependent examinations in diagnostic imagery. The diagnostic medical sonographer, or person who creates ultrasound images with sophisticated instrumentation, has a very important role in the process of providing a patient an optimal Diagnostic Medical Sonography exam. To create images which represent the actual anatomy and pathology for interpretation by a physician, the sonographer must use considerable judgment and have a broad base of knowledge in acoustical wave behavior and instrument variables. The sonographer must have a complete understanding of multiplanar cross-sectional anatomy. The creation of an ultrasound image demands that the sonographer be responsible and conscientious. The sonographer must be able to communicate with the patient, other employees, and physicians who are responsible for interpretation of ultrasound exams and provide the physician with pertinent clinical information from the patient's chart. He/She must be responsible for the immediate safety and comfort of patients while they are receiving the ultrasound exam.

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at Delgado Community College is a sixteen (16) month accredited program of formal and practical education in diagnostic medical sonography. Upon successful completion, students will be eligible to take the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography exams in Sonographic Principles & Instrumentation, Obstetrics-Gynecology, and Abdomen. The program is academically based with practical experience offered at numerous affiliate hospitals located in the New Orleans area. Students will receive Delgado Community College credits for all successfully completed didactic and practical training.

Classes are to start in the Fall semester (August) and extend through the following December. The deadline for receipt of completed applications including documents and transcripts is May 1st of each year. All applications will be reviewed and evaluated by the Ultrasound Admissions Committee. Those candidates who are not accepted will be advised accordingly by letter.

*Transcripts for courses taken in the current spring semester at schools other than Delgado should be submitted as soon as available.

PLEASE NOTE: The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is atypical with regard to the traditional college semester schedule.

Admissions

Frequently Asked Questions

Official Program Description in the College Catalog

students looking at ultrasound picturesAccreditation

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) Program at Delgado Community College meets and exceeds the required Standards and Guidelines for accreditation on all our specialty areas of concentration: Abdominal Sonography - Extended and Obstetrics & Gynecology Sonography.

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS).

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)

9355  113th Street N., #7709
Seminole, FL 33775
Phone: (727) 210-2350
Website: www.caahep.org

The Standards and Guidelines of accredited ultrasound programs of each specialty area of concentration can be found on the JRCDMS website: www.jrcdms.org

Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS)

6021 University Boulevard, Suite 500
Ellicott City, MD 21043
(443) 973-3251
jrcdms@intersocietal.org

Licensure and Certifications

Upon successful completion of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program, this accreditation allows program graduates to apply for the national certifying examinations administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

Program Mission

The mission of the Program is to provide students with a comprehensive education in diagnostic medical sonography.  The Program includes sufficient formal and practical education to successfully prepare the student to meet the challenge and high ideals offered by the diagnostic medical ultrasound profession.  The Program attempts to instill an effective influence of character and lifelong learning.

Program Effectiveness Data (2015-2020)

In compliance with accreditation standards and guidelines, the Delgado Community College Diagnostic Medical Sonography current report on student data for credential success rate, attrition rate, and job placement rate is listed below.

Job Placement and Program Completion Rates

Year Job Placement Rate Program Completion Rate

2019-2020

92%

92% (12/13)

2018-2019

88%

67% (8/12)

2017-2018

100%

92% (11/12)

2016-2017

100%

83% (10/12)

2015-2016

100%

92% (11/12)

5 Year Average
(2016-2020)

96%

85%

 

ARDMS Exam Pass Rate

Year SPI (PHYSICS & INSTRUMENTATION) ABDOMEN OB/GYN

2019-2020

100%

100%

91%

2018-2019

100%

100%

100%

2017-2018

81.8%

100%

90%

2016-2017

100%

100%

100%

2015-2016

100%

100%

100%

5 Year Average
(2016-2020)

96.3%

100%

96.2%

Student Learning Goals

COGNITIVE:  Students will demonstrate skills in critical thinking.

  1. Students will demonstrate appropriate medical and patient care knowledge to function in the health care setting.
  2. Students will accurately assess and interpret data from patient medical records.
  3. Students will adjust technical factors to achieve ALARA principles during sonographic examinations.

PSYCHOMOTOR:  Students will demonstrate the skills of a competent entry-level sonographer.

  1. Students will effectively perform assigned clinical competencies.
  2. Students will possess the skills necessary to perform patient assessment and care.
  3. Students will properly adjust technical factors to meet the needs of individual sonographic examination.

AFFECTIVE:  The students will communicate effectively.

  1. Students will demonstrate effective oral and written communication within a healthcare setting.
  2. Students will demonstrate ethical and professional behavior and maintain the values of a professional sonographer.
  3. Students will demonstrate dependability and responsibility.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, graduates will:

  • Apply skills necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of an entry-level sonographer.
  • Master the didactic and clinical skills for successful completion of the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography examination in Obstetrics‐Gynecology, Abdomen, and Sonographic Principles and Instrumentation.
  • Adapt professional, ethical behavior adhering to HIPAA guidelines and use appropriate oral/written communication skills to function effectively as a member of the healthcare team.
  • Analyze data obtained using ultrasound and related imaging technologies for diagnostic purposes.
  • Integrate knowledge and understanding of human sectional anatomy and sonographic imaging to provide a summary of findings to the physician for patient diagnosis and management.
  • Integrate knowledge and understanding of ultrasound physical principles and instrumentation.
  • Apply independent judgment and critical thinking methods to produce high-quality diagnostic information and optimize patient care.

Program Goals

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program serves students seeking meaningful careers as diagnostic medical sonographers.  The program must offer its students a clinical, laboratory, and classroom environment that will provide the student maximum opportunity to meet the challenge and high ideals offered by the diagnostic medical ultrasound profession and become registered diagnostic medical sonographers.

It is the goal of the DCC Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program to:

  • To prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains for the abdominal sonography-extended concentration.
  • To prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains for the obstetrics and gynecology concentration.
  • Meet or exceed CAAHEP Standards for program accreditation.
  • Offer didactic and clinical training leading to successful challenge of the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers exams in Physics and Instrumentation, Abdomen, and OB/GYN.
  • Offer students the requisite knowledge, practical skills, and general education to perform sonography effectively and efficiently which will prepare the student for at least entry-level positions in the field of diagnostic sonography.
  • Provide for student retention during the program using a variety of methods and resources.
  • Instill in each student the importance of continuing education, lifelong learning and professional advancement.
  • Help satisfy the local, state and regional need, by supplying qualified Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.
  • Help contribute to graduate job placement within three-six months of graduation.
  • The Program recognizes and modifies its activities to improve service to the following communities of interest:
    • Students of the Program
    • Graduates of the Program
    • Faculty of the Program
    • Employers of our graduates
    • Local, Regional and State healthcare facilities
    • Physicians responsible for the interpretation of ultrasound exams
    • Delgado Community College
    • Profession of Sonography

Goals are assessed by measuring the following student outcomes: Course completion, Clinical competencies, Program Completion, National certification pass rate and employment rate as well as graduate and employer satisfaction surveys.

Employment Opportunities

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers are employed in a variety of settings:

  • Hospitals
  • Physicians Offices
  • Clinics
  • Public Health Facilities
  • Laboratories
  • Medical Sonography Equipment Sales

See U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook for additional information: Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.