Hamad Ghazle, Director Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program
Dive deeper into the different disciplines of sonography – including abdominal, obstetrical, gynecological, small parts examination, and much more – as you further your understanding of ultrasound technology.
The diagnostic medical sonography certificate is an 18-month program that includes a clinical internship. The program – which focuses on various abdominal, gynecological, obstetrical, and small parts examinations including certain vascular studies – has been designed to meet and exceed the objectives of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). It was created to produce competent, compassionate, and responsible ultrasound professionals and leaders. The certificate is available to all registered allied health practitioners as well as to those holding an associate or bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline. The program includes lectures and course work integrated with a clinical internship. Dependent on a student’s previous degree, certain prerequisite courses may be required prior to enrollment. Required prerequisite courses include one year of anatomy and physiology with laboratories and one year of college or general physics with laboratories.
Graduates earning the certificate will:
gain a thorough working knowledge of ultrasound scanning techniques;
be skilled in the operation of ultrasound instrumentation and laboratory equipment;
acquire the proper manner in working with patients; and
under the guidance from faculty and professional staff, be capable of scheduling and performing the daily workload of ultrasound procedures, of evaluating new procedures where necessary, and of supervising other technical personnel.
Plan of study
During the first academic year, students complete all the prerequisite courses required to enter the clinical internship phase of the program. Students also apply, polish, and test their clinical skills and techniques in the on-campus ultrasound scanning suite, which is equipped with a variety of ultrasound equipment. Following a required two-week pre-clinical internship orientation session, students begin their training at the first of two assigned clinical training sites.
The one-year clinical internship provides hands-on experience at two or more approved medical facilities. After completing the pre-internship course work, all students begin the internship by attending an intensive two-week experience on campus. During this time they enhance and polish the skills they previously learned, prepare to perform complete sonographic examinations as performed in real clinical settings, and advance their knowledge in recognizing anatomy and disease states using a variety of equipment in the Ultrasound Scanning Suite. Students also learn about hospital, departmental, and administrative operations. After completing these requirements, candidates are assigned to a medical training site for their clinical experience. At these facilities, students work side-by-side with sonographers, physicians, and other health care professionals to learn, develop, apply, and sharpen the necessary skills to perform general ultrasound examinations. Students’ clinical progress and performance are closely monitored by the program’s clinical coordinator and program director, who have regular communication and make periodic visits to the clinical internship sites. Additionally, students return to campus each month for three days of lectures, presentations, projects, and testing. Students may complete their clinical internships at any approved regional or national medical ultrasound facility, with approval of the program director.
Diagnostic Medical Sonography, certificate, typical course sequence
Sem. Cr. Hrs.
Sonographic Scanning Skills and Techniques I
The course provides students with hands-on experience by performing basic and general abdominal, small parts, obstetrical and gynecological ultrasound examinations. Sonographic examination protocols and techniques, review and recognition of normal anatomic structures, high quality image production, and image interpretation are stressed.
Sonographic Scanning Skills and Techniques II
The course is a continuation of Sonographic Scanning Skills and Techniques I (DMSO- 301). The course provides students with further hands-on opportunities to perform advanced abdominal and OB/GYN, peripheral vascular (upper and lower) and carotid Doppler examinations including color flow. Ultrasound examination protocols and techniques, review and recognition of normal anatomic structures, high quality image production, Doppler and color flow optimization and image interpretation are stressed.
Sonography Physics and Instrumentation I
This course addresses how the principles of ultrasound physics are directly applied to the use of ultrasound instrumentation in medical imaging. Transducers, signal production, memory systems, data display, manipulation of controls, and artifacts, are discussed. Throughout the course, the student will integrate previous knowledge of anatomy with ultrasound physics and instrumentation.
Sonography Physics and Instrumentation II
This course is a continuation of Sonography Physics and Instrumentation I (DMSO-309). It provides a foundation of the basic physical principles of ultrasound and the fundamentals of fluid dynamics, Doppler physics including color, power, and spectral Doppler, quality control, Doppler artifacts, and biological effects. Students will learn to integrate previous knowledge of anatomy, ultrasound physics and instrumentation with Doppler skills and techniques. Development of scanning techniques, use of instrument controls, and production of high quality diagnostic images utilizing laboratory equipment are stressed.
Human Cross-Sectional Anatomy
This course covers basic sectional anatomy of the abdomen, pelvis, fetus and small parts, building on the basic knowledge of anatomy. This course prepares the student to recognize sectional anatomy of major human structures, especially as they relate to medical imaging techniques. Lectures are augmented with exercises using prepared human sections, organ modeling, and diagnostic imaging units.
This course will introduce key elements of integrated, high-quality patient care. Through lecture, role-play and hands-on practice, essential aspects of team-based patient care will be explored. Vital skills and behaviors such as professionalism, communication, documentation, workplace safety, patient assessment, patient positioning and transfers, and acute medical situations will be presented. Infection control, medications and their administration, and medical-legal issues will also be examined.
Pathophysiology of Organ Systems I
Sonographic Vascular Evaluation
This course provides knowledge of general vascular evaluation with an emphasis on the Sonographic approach. Two-dimensional real-time imaging and Doppler techniques are presented as well as a discussion of other imaging modalities and their use in vascular evaluation. Performance of examinations on laboratory equipment is stressed.
Obstetrical Sonography I
This course provides the ultrasound candidate with the knowledge necessary to perform obstetrical examinations. High-quality image production, recognition of normal structures, and basic pathologic states are stressed. Examination protocols, review of specific anatomy and pathology, film reading, and use of other imaging techniques are also addressed.
This course provides the information necessary to perform basic and advanced gynecologic Sonographic examinations. Examination strategies for various procedures are explored, as well as the integration of ultrasound into established clinical practices.
Obstetrical Sonography II
This course provides information necessary to perform more sophisticated obstetrical procedures utilizing ultrasound equipment. Examination strategies for various procedures are explored as well as the integration of ultrasound into established clinical practices.
Abdominal and Small Parts Sonography I
Laboratory simulation and classroom instruction are used to develop practical skills and clinical knowledge necessary to perform basic abdominal and small parts examinations utilizing ultrasound equipment. High-quality image production, recognition of normal abdominal structures and basic pathologic states are stressed. Examination protocols, review of anatomy, film reading, and use of other scanning techniques are addressed.
Abdominal and Small Parts Sonography II
This course is a continuation of Abdominal and Small Parts Sonography I (DMSO-456). Laboratory simulation and classroom instruction are used to develop the practical skills and clinical knowledge necessary to perform basic and advanced abdominal and small parts examinations utilizing ultrasound. High-quality image production, recognition of normal abdominal structures and basic and advanced pathologic states are stressed. Examination protocols, review of anatomy, film reading and use of other scanning techniques are addressed.
Administration and Research in Sonography
Speaking, writing, and researching skills are explored. Methods of basic research, developing writing strategies, and oral presentations are stressed. Students develop or critique a research project and prepare a written document following common publishing guidelines in addition to making oral presentations. Additionally, candidates prepare a complete plan for an ultrasound department as if they had been hired to establish a new department in a hospital setting. The candidates work together to develop the physical facilities, administrative, and financial aspects of a department.
Clinical Sonography I
This course prepares the student for application of classroom knowledge to the practice of ultrasound by means of a clinical internship. Performing basic general ultrasound examinations in the areas of abdomen, small parts, obstetrics, gynecology and basic peripheral vascular in both the laboratory and clinical settings is stressed. Nursing procedures, ethical issues, and medico-legal considerations are also discussed as they relate to the practice of ultrasound examinations. This is an internship course.
Clinical Sonography II
This course provides the final development of ultrasound examination skills by means of clinical internship. The candidate is expected to perform basic and advanced general ultrasound examinations in the areas of abdomen, small parts, obstetrics, gynecology and peripheral ultrasound examinations with no assistance by the end of this course. This is an internship course.