Diagnostic medical sonography (DMS), also referred to as ultrasound, is a dynamic field in the area of Allied Health. As part of the health care team, diagnostic medical sonographers perform diagnostic medical examinations utilizing specialized equipment to assist with patient care. The examination involves collecting patient information, performing a sonographic examination, and communicating findings of the examination to the physician. The skills required of a sonographer to perform the examination include:
- Critical analysis of patient information
- Detailed knowledge of anatomy and physiology
- Understanding of various disease processes and medical conditions
- Knowledge and ability to properly utilize ultrasound technology
- Ability to perform a wide variety of diagnostic examinations
- Ability to formulate decisions based on critical analysis
- Effective communication skills
- Work independently and as a member of the health care team
About the diagnostic medical sonography program
Diagnostic medical sonography education has been offered by Baptist Memorial Health Care since 1986. Baptist College of Health Sciences offers a bachelor of health science degree with a major in diagnostic medical sonography. The degree plan requires students to successfully complete 126 credit hours in specified courses. The courses include general education curriculum, sonography courses, and clinical practicum courses. A complete outline of required courses is available here. Topics included in the sonography courses and clinical practicum courses include:
- Abdominal sonography
- General sonography
- Obstetrical and gynecological sonography
- Vascular sonography
- Adult echocardiography
- Physical principles of ultrasound and instrumentation
Students receive in-class instruction, online instruction, laboratory experience, and clinical practicum experience. The sonography and clinical practicum courses encompass six consecutive trimesters and require the student to participate in courses up to 40 hours per week. Clinical practicum experience is obtained in a variety of health care facilities including many Baptist Memorial Health Care locations.
Upon successful completion of the sonography program, graduates can be considered candidates for examinations given by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Upon successful completion of the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) examination and other specialty examinations, graduates can earn the following credentials: Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS), Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT), and Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS).
The DMS degree program at Baptist College will provide an excellent educational program to prepare students to enter the dynamic field of diagnostic medical sonography.
Program Learning Outcomes
- To prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains
- To prepare competent entry-level vascular sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains
Upon completion of the course of study in the DMS program, graduates will:
- Function as a knowledgeable entry-level sonographer.
- Demonstrate clinical proficiency of sonographic procedures.
- Exhibit behavior skills that reflect professionalism, effective communication, and time-management skills.
The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) on recommendation by the Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). The program at Baptist College is accredited in both the general and vascular concentrations.