The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at Temple College is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions. The program consists of both didactic and practical experiences that develop the individual’s potential to provide diagnostic-quality sonograms. The foundation for this is derived from understanding sonographic physics and application of these principles, and understanding the relationship of anatomical structures to produce diagnostic sonograms. The faculty facilitates learning opportunities that provide the student exposure to knowledge, skills, technology and belief systems necessary for the practice of sonography. These learning opportunities draw from and build on each other to provide progression in the development of sonographic skills. Coursework specific to diagnostic medical sonography and the general core curriculum, as outlined by the college, comprises the formal education plan for the Advanced Technical Certificate and Associate of Applied Science degree.
Degrees & Certificates
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs with the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
You must complete all prerequisite courses before being seated in the program. It is highly recommended that all co-requisites are completed also.
- Attend an information session
- Complete application
- Take ATI TEAS VI test
- If selected, attend interview
- If selected, submit for drug test, background check, orientation and CPR training
September 18, 2017
October 23, 2017
November 13, 2017
January 22, 2018
February 26, 2018
March 26, 2018
April 16, 2018
May 7, 2018
*Information sessions begin at 9 a.m. in Room 2807 of the Pavilion
- Temple College sonography graduates have a 100 percent job placement rate.
- Students are double, if not triple credentialed, placing them up to five years ahead of other graduates.
- In 2016, the program was recognized as one of the top 50 Ultrasound Technician Programs at two-year colleges in the country.
What is sonography?
Ultrasonography, commonly called sonography, is a diagnostic medical procedure that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce dynamic visual images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body. This type of procedure is often referred to as a sonogram or ultrasound scan. Sonography can be used to examine many parts of the body, such as the abdomen, breasts, female reproductive system, prostate, heart, and blood vessels. Sonography is increasingly being used in the detection and treatment of heart disease, heart attack, and vascular disease that can lead to stroke. It is also used to guide fine needle, tissue biopsy to assist in taking a sample of cells from an organ for lab testing (for example, a test for cancer in breast tissue). Unlike X-rays, sonography is a radiation-free imaging modality.
The non-physician professionals who perform these procedures are known as Sonographers and vascular technologists (who are Sonographers specializing in imaging and tests of blood vessels).
There are several areas of specialization in the field of sonography. These specialty areas are:
- Abdomen – evaluation of all the soft tissues, blood vessels and organs of the abdominal cavities (for example, liver, spleen, urinary tract, pancreas)
- Breast – frequently used to evaluate breast abnormalities that are found with screening or diagnostic mammography
- Obstetrics/Gynecology – evaluation of the female reproductive system
- Echocardiography – evaluation of the anatomy and hemodynamics (blood flow) of the heart, its valves and related blood vessels
- Vascular Technology – evaluation and analysis of the hemodynamics (blood flow) of peripheral and abdominal blood vessels
- Neurosonology – evaluation of the brain and spinal cord
- Ophthalmology – evaluation of the eye, including orbital structures and muscles
What does a diagnostic medical Sonographer do?
A diagnostic medical Sonographer is a highly-skilled professional who uses specialized equipment to create images of structures inside the human body that are used by physicians to make a medical diagnosis. The process involves placing a small device called a transducer against the patient’s skin near the body area to be imaged. The transducer works like a loudspeaker and microphone because it can transmit sound and receive sound. The transducer sends a stream of high frequency sound waves into the body that bounce off the structures inside. The transducer detects sound waves as they bounce off the internal structures. Different structures in the body reflect these sound waves differently. These sounds are analyzed by a computer to make an image of the structure(s) on a television screen or that can be recorded on videotape.
Sonographers have extensive, direct patient contact that may include performing some invasive procedures. They must be able to interact compassionately and effectively with people who range from healthy to critically ill.
The professional responsibilities include, but are not limited, to:
- obtaining and recording an accurate patient history
- performing diagnostic procedures and obtaining diagnostic images
- analyzing technical information
- using independent judgment in recognizing the need to extend the scope of the procedure according to the diagnostic findings
- providing an oral or written summary of the technical findings to the physician for medical diagnosis
- providing quality patient care
- collaborating with physicians and other members of the health care team.
Sonographers must also be knowledgeable about and limit the risk from possible exposure to blood and body fluids. Many Sonographers also assist in electronic and clerical scheduling, record keeping, and computerized image archiving. Sonographers may also have managerial or supervisory responsibilities.
What are some of the technical standards?
- Sonographers and Vascular Technologists must be able to:
- Lift more than 50 pounds routinely
- Push and pull routinely
- Bend and stoop routinely
- Have full use of both hands, wrists and shoulders
- Distinguish audible sounds
- Adequately view sonograms, including color distinctions
- Work standing on their feet 80% of the time
- Interact compassionately and effectively with the sick or injured
- Assist patients on and off examining tables
- Communicate effectively with patients and other health care professionals
- Organize and accurately perform the individual steps in a sonographic procedure in the proper sequence
What are the career opportunities?
Sonography is a dynamic profession that has grown significantly over the past 20 years. With rapidly developing new technologies and increased use of diagnostic ultrasound procedures, growth is projected to continue in the future with employment opportunities for qualified Sonographers in both urban and rural areas nationwide. Sonographers and vascular technologists can choose to work in clinics, hospitals, private practice physician offices, public health facilities, laboratories, and other medical settings performing examinations in their areas of specialization. Career advancement opportunities exist in education, administration, research, and in commercial companies as education/application specialists, sales representatives, technical advisors, etc.
What are the salaries for Sonographers?*
In addition to excellent career opportunities, salaries for Sonographers are competitive with or higher than other professionals with similar levels of education. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for Sonographers in 2015 was $69,970. This income includes: 1) hourly salary, 2) overtime and, 3) on-call pay. The typical hourly pay rate is $29, and the number of overtime hours worked per week by Sonographers is 3. The typical on-call pay rate is $3.00 per hour, and the call-in rate of pay is $42 per hour.
*Salaries vary depending on years of experience, number of specialties practiced, as well as geographic location. There are opportunities for full-time and part-time employment.
How long does it take to become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer?
Comprehensive Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs vary in length from one to four years depending on the degree or certificate awarded. Prerequisites also vary among programs from high school diploma or GED to specific qualifications in a related allied health profession.
What is the tuition cost to become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer?
Tuition to receive an AAS in Diagnostic Medical Sonography is approximately $9700 for in-district, $12,900 for out of district, and $17,000 for out-of-state students .
Tuition to obtain a ATC in Diagnostic Medical Sonography is approximately $6000 for in-district, $8600 for out of district, and $1200 for out-of-state.
© Copyright 1999-2008. Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Plano, Texas.
The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography is the credentialing body for Sonographers. Students should review the ARDMS guidelines to determine when they are eligible to sit for an exam and which exam(s) they are eligible to challenge. Students are allowed to sit 60 days prior to graduation.
To earn the RDMS credential the graduate from the Temple College DMS Program must pass the following ARDMS examinations:
Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation AND any one of the following specialty examinations*
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Breast Sonography
*Passing any one specialty exam will only provide you with the RDMS credential for that specialty area.