Diagnostic Medical Sonography: a Program with a Plan

Docter performing Diagnostic Medical Sonography on patient Often, students enter the university without an exact plan or goal in mind—and there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, it takes a bit of time and self-discovery to determine the most promising or rewarding program for an individual. However, this is simply not the case for students choosing to enter Florida National University’s (FNU) Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Technology program.

This program prepares students to pursue a specialized career in the medical field. This article offers information about the Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Technology program and the career paths associated with this subject.

The Program

The following are details about FNU’s Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Technology program that will help students prepare.

  • It is designed to prepare the student to perform ultrasound procedures. The student will be trained to develop his or her skills regarding the knowledge of interpretation of sonographic images. Finally, the student will be able to conduct ultrasound procedures in abdomen, pelvis, and small parts, making this individual and integral part of many medical facilities.
  • During the program, training will cover organs of the abdomen and pelvis, along with obstetrical and fetal evaluations. The program requires the completion of a minimum of 87 credits, and prepares students to pass the national certification exam. Over the course of the program, students will be required to conduct 800 hours of clinical practice.
  • Diagnostic medical sonography (DMS) is a profession practiced by diagnostic medical sonographers, also known as ultrasound technicians or ultrasound image technicians. These technicians are trained to read the sound waves produced by an ultrasound.

How Courses Benefit the Student

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “Diagnostic medical sonographers need formal education, such as an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Many employers also require professional certification” (BLS). Therefore, prior to entering this career, prospective professionals must focus on one’s education.

It is important to understand that FNU’s associate’s program was not designed for transfer to a senior institution. Rather, this program was organized to prepare students to pursue a career in the field, which makes it an excellent building block for one’s future.

A Sample of Classes Offered

The following is a closer look at the courses offered in FNU’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography Associate’s program:

SON – 1642 Ethics and Law in Diagnostic Imaging (3 credits)

This course is designed to introduce the students in the foundation of law and ethics and their related aspects in sonography. The student will learn the professional aspects related with the sonographic technicians and the concepts of liability, negligence, and malpractice, as well as the proper communication, human relationship, and other social issues.

SON – 2110 C Image Production in Ultrasound (3 credits)

This course will teach students how to understand the sonographic visualization of the organs and tissues and how to apply this knowledge in the use of sonographic procedures in order to reach the appropriate image under study.

SON – 2111 C Abdominal Ultrasound I (3 credits)

This course teaches the standard procedures used in abdominal sonography as well as the recognition of the organs and structures, including vascular structures, liver, biliary systems, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, spleen, urinary system, retroperitoneal organs, peritoneal cavity, and abdominal wall. The student will be trained in the localization, visualization, and the recognition of the organs and structures of the abdominal cavity. The student will learn about the sonographic images and the anatomical variations of the abdominal organs.

SON – 2116 C Abdominal Pathology (3 credits)

This course instructs on the frequent pathologies and diseases that affect the organs of the abdominal cavity including liver, biliary system, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, spleen, urinary system, retroperitoneum organs, peritoneal cavity and abdominal wall. The students will be trained in the visualization of masses, vascular changes, and abnormalities in organs of the abdominal cavity as well as the pathologic images and their localization in the abdominal organs.

SON – 2117 L Artifacts in Abdominal Ultrasound (1 credit)

This course consists of training the student in the visualization and recognition of the common and some infrequent artifacts in images of the organs and structures during abdominal sonography.

Want to know more about the courses offered can read more in FNU’s handbook, here.

A Hands-On Program that Gives Back

One of the most inspiring factors about studying in FNU’s program is the ability to give back while learning. FNU serves the community by offering free sonograms to pregnant women. This offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a real scenario (under the supervision of a certified diagnostic medical sonographer), while also providing services to families and women in South Florida who are in need of medical care.

Important Reminders Regarding the Programs

When choosing the study in the program, FNU would like to remind students to please observe the following information:

FNU’s medical students are required to wear medical attire at all times. Students must furnish their uniforms. Each student must have liability insurance in order to participate in the clinical rotations. All students must provide BLS, OSHA, HIV, and HIPPA seminar completion forms in order to participate in the clinical rotations. Students must complete 800 hours of clinical practice. This is all necessary protocol to observe sanitary requirements while protecting patients.

The Plan

After graduating from this program, students will have the training required for entry-level careers in the Diagnostic Imaging field as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer—and this is great news for graduates:

According to the BLS, there will be a growing demand for diagnostic medical sonographers from 2012 until 2022. In fact, the projected growth for this career is set at 39%. One reason that explains this demand is because, as ultrasound technology evolves, it is expected to become a more common method used to assist in diagnosing medical conditions, favored over more invasive procedures. The other good news is that the median annual wage for diagnostic medical sonographers is approximately $65,860, making a two-year associate’s program a worthy investment.

Most diagnostic medical sonographers work full time in hospitals or others healthcare settings including physician’s offices and medical and diagnostic laboratories.

FNU Programs: the Path to Your Future

Now that you know all about the program and the plan, it is time to get started! If you are ready to begin working toward your future career apply today! If this program is not for you, be sure to review FNU’s other programs to find the one that suits you best!

Works Cited

“Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.