What is a Diagnostic Medical Sonography?
Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a medical procedure that uses ultrasound to produce visual images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body. As a respected part of the medical community, sonographers uses specialized equipment to create sonograms in order to examine many parts of the body, such as the abdomen, pelvis, female reproductive system, prostate, heart, and blood vessels.
Sonographers are integral members of the radiography field. They must be responsible, have good oral communication, and excellent motor and didactic skills.
They help both healthy and critically ill inpatients and outpatients of all ages. Sonographers essentially perform noninvasive procedures in small, low-lit rooms. They stand or sit bedside the patient to examine and produce images of structures inside the human body. These images, or sonograms, are used by radiologists to make a medical diagnosis. Sonographers often act as a liaison between patients, doctors and Radiologists (Interpreting Physicians).
As a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, you will also be referred to as:
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS), Sonogram Technologist, Sonographer, Ultrasonographer.
Allied Health Academy built a strong curriculum based on research from our corporate affiliate, Tri-State Imaging Solutions. As a leader in the mobile ultrasound field, Tri-State noted a shortage of experienced professional sonographers. When their clients began to ask Tri-State how they obtained the best sonographers available, the answer was: We trained them ourselves. From the extreme need for a credible and accurate sonography program in the Philadelphia, Bucks, and Montgomery County areas, Allied Health Academy was conceived. Information from Tri-State’s CEO (an Ultrasound Technologist with over 25 years of experience), Radiologists, medical office staff, and healthcare educators was used to formulate a unique core curriculum. We offer an environment filled with opportunities and resources to prepare students for success while promoting the quality of patient care in the search for a diagnosis.
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is designed to ensure that all lecture/didactic and scan/lab classes will prepare the student for registry training and optimal career placement.
Our goal is to ensure that each student receives the individual attention needed to help them fully comprehend the techniques used in ultrasound, and the logic pertaining to each scan.
Each lab portion of the course is designed to meet specific guidelines set forth by the America College of Radiology. All protocols will be addressed pertaining to all anatomic structures in accordance to these guidelines. Information on each body part will be reviewed as the instructor teaches the student how to scan correctly with the proper hand-eye coordination. Pathologies and abnormalities will be discussed as well. Slideshows and other media will be used to assess differential diagnoses. We train our students on the current version of PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System). The student must be able to establish a diagnosis or differential diagnosis before the theory/didactic lab portion of the program is complete. Upon completion of the course the student will be able to perform a full examination including abdomen, pelvis, female reproductive system, male reproductive system, blood vessels, and much more.
The statistics below can be obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They represent national data. Areas in which the cost of living is higher indicate increased salaries for a cardiovascular technologist.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that ultrasound technologists and technicians, which is the category which includes diagnostic medical sonographers, will see employment growth of 30% between 2012 and 2022. Due to the aging population and the high occurrence of heart disease, the growth rate for this position is expected to be much faster than the average rate for other occupations. The BLS reported that as of May, 2013, cardiovascular technologists earned $53,210 as a median annual wage. The median annual wage for diagnostic medical sonographers was $65,860 in May, 2012. (The median wage is the average wage. Half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.) The lowest 10% earned less than $44,990, and the top 10% earned more than $91,070.
Most diagnostic imaging workers work full time. Because they work in facilities that are always open, some may work evenings, weekends, or overnight.
Careers that students may begin after completing the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program are:
Ultrasound technologists that work in hospitals
• They can work in multiple departments within a hospital including assisting in surgical procedures and biopsies
• They can perform work scanning patients with general and vascular needs
• They can conduct mobile ultrasounds at the bedside of patients who cannot be transported from their facilities, such as nursing homes and prisons
Outside of the hospital, there are plenty of opportunities for ultrasound technologists:
• They can work in private physician’s offices in family medicine, urology, obstetrics, and vascular surgery
• They can work in outpatient diagnostic imaging clinics and vein clinics
Ultrasound technologists can also progress to supervisory and management roles such as:
• Senior Technologist
• Department Supervisor
• Clinical Instructor
• Program Director
• Client relations
• Mobile Ultrasound Company CEO
• Abdominal Sonographer
• Breast Sonographer
• Obstetric and Gynecologic Sonographer
• Vascular Sonographer
• Cardiac Sonographer
• Fetal Sonographer
• Adult Sonographer
• Pediatric Sonographer
• Opthamologic Sonographer
• Musculoskeletal Sonographer
Labs and Externships
Our externship is divided into four sections. During this time, observation of and participation in tasks required by a sonographer in a clinical environment will be examined. Students are expected to correlate didactic knowledge with patient history, protocols, and pathologies normally found in the clinical environment. Students will use proper procedures and protocols and begin to perform studies on patients. Students are required to complete competencies as directed by their clinical education plan. They must concentrate on producing high quality images in a timely manner. Documenting relevant organ anatomy and pathology must be performed and mastered during externship. Students will refine the skills necessary to perform and complete all protocols independently. They must be able to document all pathologies, and present a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation to both the site sonographer and interpreting physician.
Competitive Admissions Standards