Students interested in one of Volunteer State Community Colleges Health Sciences programs must follow the A.S. in Health Sciences curriculum. You must contact an advisor in your preferred area of emphasis to identify appropriate general education and elective courses for admission into your selected program. For more information about specific program deadlines and requirements, please refer to the program's information packet.
Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a technical science that deals with the use of ultrasound for diagnostic purposes in medicine. Sonographers, also known as ultrasound technologists, use high frequency sound waves to image structures within the body. Diagnostic Medical Sonography offers graduates employment in hospitals, clinics, and private offices. Skilled sonographers can advance to administrative, teaching, research, or sales positions as well as specialized concentrations within the profession. Additional information on the profession can be found at: www.ardms.org
Those who choose a career in sonography will become linked with the most advanced use of sound in medical diagnosis. They will be required to master scientific principles and technical skills and to cultivate professionalism and empathy for their patients.
This program of study is designed to provide didactic and clinical training in the field of general Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The student will receive training in the fields of acoustic principles, safety, abdominal, obstetrical, gynecologic, vascular, and small parts sonography. This program requires sixteen (16) months to complete. Students who complete the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program will receive a Certificate of Completion. Graduates of the program are eligible and encouraged to take professional certification examinations offered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). This includes, Sonography Principals & Instrumentation, Abdomen, Obstetric & Gynecology, and Vascular board exams.
The Volunteer State Community College Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS).
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While in enrolled in the DMS program, students will become eligible to register for multiple national board examinations. Students are strongly encouraged to register for the following American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) exams:
- Sonography Principals and Instrumentation (SPI)
- Abdomen (AB)
- Obstetrics & Gynecology (OB/GYN)
- Vascular (VT)
Graduates passing the SPI in addition to either the AB or OB/GYN exam will earn the Registered Diagnostic Sonographer (RDMS) credential.
Graduates passing the SPI and the VT exam will earn the Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT) credential.
The ARDMS offers several other specialty examinations, please refer to their website for the most up-to-date information regarding the credentialing process. http://www.ardms.org
Program Mission State & Program Goals
To prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.
This includes equipping students to:
- Demonstrate knowledge in appropriate didactic areas.
- Integrate knowledge into competency-based clinical experience.
- Apply skills to exceed the standards of the profession.
- Analyze clinical data.
- Write effectively in more than one format as part of the writing across the professional curriculum initiative.
- Provide excellent quality care to enrich and support the community through active engagement.
- Engage and maintain personal professional relationships.
This program provides students with the opportunity to develop the technical knowledge and personal skills necessary for a career in the sonographic sciences. The curriculum is designed to combine compassion with integrity in order to shape a student into a skilled professional.
The job outlook for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers is very good. Nationwide, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 18 percent increase in the number of jobs between 2008 and 2018, faster growth than the average for all jobs. Job growth in Tennessee alone is projected at 24 percent during the same time span. Uniform salary data lags by a few years, but in 2008, the median wage of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers was $29.80, or $62,000 a year. In Tennessee, the rates were slightly lower, with a median of $26.76 an hour, or $55,700.