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Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound)

Collage of patients undergoing some ultrasound diagnosing.

 

Be a Valued Member of a Health Care Team

 
Diagnostic medical sonography, more commonly referred to as ultrasound, is a growing area of the health care sector with excellent job prospects. Sonographers are skilled clinicians who perform ultrasound studies as ordered by physicians for their patients. The images created by sonographers are then used to determine a medical diagnosis.
 
Broward College offers an affordable educational experience for anyone interested in a career as an ultrasound clinician. See how our program is structured and what it can do for your future.

 

Information sessions


Learn about a career as a sonographer
Dates:
  • Thursday, July 13, 2017
  • Thursday, August 3, 2017

Time: 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Location: North Campus, Bldg 41, Rm 153

Classroom Experience
Sonographers create images of various structures inside the human body using specialized equipment. As a student in the diagnostic medical sonography program here at Broward College, you will learn:
  • Physics as it applies to sonography
  • Communication skills for health care professionals
  • Sonography scanning techniques related to the abdomen, pelvis, fetus and heart 
All semesters are taught int he classroom and at clinical affiliates. Classes are capped at 18 students thereby offering more one-on-one time with your didactic and clinical instructors. Clinical education courses allow the experience of hands-on sonography training in local hospitals and clinics.
 
Our faculty will work closely with you to ensure your success in the program by offering constructive critique as you apply what you learn.
 
Career Path
The U.S. Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to increase by almost 20 percent through 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations.  In addition, the aging population will only increase the demand for diagnostic medical sonographers. 
  
Graduates of our program have found work in: 
  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Public health facilities
  • Private practice physicians' offices 
Browse sonography jobs now.​​ 
 
Is This Program Right for Me?
As a student in our Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, and later as a professional working in the field, a number of personal qualities will be vital to your success. These include:
  • Being a compassionate and caring individual
  • Having keen problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • Being able to offer independent judgment when needed 
Your experience in the field after you graduate will include: 
  • Performing clinical exams using discretion and independent judgment
  • Assisting physicians in medical diagnosis by acquiring, evaluating and providing preliminary technical interpretations of ultrasound images and related diagnostic procedures​
Accreditation
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program offered by Broward College is accredited by:   
In addition to accreditation, our program has also been endorsed by:  
  • Society for Vascular Ultrasound
  • American Society of Echocardiography*
  • Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • American Institute of Ultrasound Medicine
  • Canadian Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
* Qualified endorsement
Faculty
Faculty and instructors consist of sonographers who have more than 35 years of combined experience in the health care and sonography fields. One faculty member is a graduate of this program. The faculty's many years of real-world experience facilitates learning for all Broward College Diagnostic Medical Sonography students.
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Program Outcomes

OUTCOMES

2015

ATTRITION
JOB PLACEMENT
CREDENTIAL SUCCESS RATES
14%
58%
Abdomen – 89%
   OBGYN – 100%
  Cardiac – 50%
​​
Courses
In just 24 months, or six semesters (for a total of 77 credits), you could earn your AS in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Courses are only available at the North Campus, with General Education courses available at all campus locations. When you enroll in this program, your courses will include:  
  • Didactic (lecture) courses
  • Hands-on training at area clinical affiliates
  • General (abdomen and OBGYN) and cardiac instruction 
A typical semester involves two full days of class and three eight-hour clinic days.  This is a full-time program that requires approximately 38 hours per week of your time (not evening or weekends). You must complete courses in the sonography track with a grade of “C” or better, and a grade of “S” (Satisfactory) in all Clinical Education courses. A grade of 2.0 or above is required for graduation.
 
Program Goals
  1. To prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge) psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains and to prepare competent entry-level adult cardiac sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains

This program is designed to develop a sonographer who:

  1. Contributes to the physical and psychological comfort of the patient.  The obligations assumed by those who are entrusted with the care of patients transcends mere technical expertise.  Therefore, in addition to academic competence, the sonographer who graduates from this program is prepared for, and is expected to demonstrate, those qualities of professional conduct to include integrity, morality, discipline and compassion.
  2. Works with the health care team to improve the quality of health care in the hospital and community. 
  3. Understands the importance of membership in professional organizations. 
  4. Keeps abreast of the changes in the ultrasound field.   
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Mission Statement
The mission of Broward College is to achieve student success by developing informed and creative students capable of contributing to a knowledge- and service-based global society. As a public community college accredited to offer associate degrees, selected baccalaureate degrees, and certificate programs, the institution and its District Board of Trustees are committed to fostering a learning-centered community that celebrates diversity and inclusion by empowering and engaging students, faculty and staff.
 
The mission of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is to prepare competent, ethical and culturally sensitive entry-level sonographers who are dedicated to lifelong self-directed learning.  The program is committed to preparing sonographers who are capable of functioning in a dynamic and ever changing area of health care delivery.  The Sonography Program exists to provide a technical and professional education to benefit all segments of the community. The Sonography Program is committed to quality instruction delivered by dedicated faculty who are engaged in continued professional development.
 
The program is committed to accomplishing its mission through the use of effective and diverse instructional methods that encompass both traditional and technology-based strategies. The program goal is to prepare competent entry-level general and cardiac sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. The program is offered on a full-time basis only with classes and clinical education held during the day.  All Diagnostic Medical Sonography Classes are taught at Broward College’s North Campus. Clinical Education is provided through various clinical affiliates in Broward County.
 
In order to successfully progress through the Sonography Program, students must achieve all cognitive, affective and psychomotor objectives. This requires that a grade of "C" or above be earned in all didactic courses and an "S" (satisfactory) grade be earned in all clinical courses. This requirement is in addition to maintaining an overall degree GPA of at least 2.0. All courses in the program are sequential. Each course must be passed with a grade of "C" or better to progress to the next scheduled course.
 

Please read on to find out more about the ways our program can help you to meet your academic and career goals.  Our goal is to help you succeed.
 
Karen Hoban, M.Ed, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, RT(R)
Program Manager
North Campus
khoban@broward.edu 

Technical Standards

Technical Performance Standards

 
The Diagnostic Medical Sonographer utilizes high frequency sound waves and other diagnostic techniques for medical diagnosis.  The professional level of this health care service requires highly skilled and competent individuals who function as integral members of the health care team.  The Diagnostic Sonographer must be able to produce and evaluate ultrasound images and related data that are used by physicians to render a medical diagnosis.  The Diagnostic Sonographer must acquire and maintain specialized technical skills and medical knowledge to render quality patient care. 
 
In the professional courses that are required, as well as in the career field of sonography, the student and sonographer must have the ability to: 
 
  1. Lift and move patients and accessories
  2. Coordinate movement of equipment, such as portable machines and accessories
  3. Utilize the skills needed to perform procedures with "universal precautions" when working with all types of patients
  4. Give instructions to patients, peers, and healthcare personnel
  5. Hear audible cues and warnings of imaging and Doppler equipment and life support devices
  6. Utilize the sense of touch in order to provide patient care and position patients for sonographic examinations
  7. Exhibit the dexterity to manipulate the transducer in the necessary maneuvers to achieve the optimum examination and to operate the controls of the equipment
  8. Evaluate images, distinguishing between black, white, and shades of gray tones, and recognize and evaluate shades of color in images and color flow Doppler
  9. Utilize interpersonal skills to professionally and sensitively interact with patients who are experiencing physical or emotional trauma
  10. Utilize oral and written communications to assess clinical records, comprehend and employ appropriate medical terminology and interact with the referring and/or attending physician with oral and written impressions regarding sonographic data as permitted by employer policy and procedure
  11. Exercise professional judgment and discretion to identify a life-threatening situation and implement emergency care
  12. Perform within the SCOPE OF PRACTICE (detailed below).
  13. Protect the patient's rights and privacy and adhere to the Professional Code of Conduct.
Scope of Practice for the Diagnostic Ultrasound Professional
 
Preamble:
The purpose of this document is to define the Scope of Practice for Diagnostic Ultrasound Professionals and to specify their roles as members of the health care team, acting in the best interest of the patient. This scope of practice is a "living" document that will evolve as the technology expands.
 
Definition of the Profession:
The Diagnostic Ultrasound Profession is a multi-specialty field comprised of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (with subspecialties in abdominal, neurologic, obstetrical/gynecologic and ophthalmic ultrasound), Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography (with subspecialties in adult and pediatric echocardiography), Vascular Technology, and other emerging fields. These diverse specialties are distinguished by their use of diagnostic medical ultrasound as a primary technology in their daily work. Certification1 is considered the standard of practice in ultrasound. Individuals who are not yet certified should reference the Scope as a professional model and strive to become certified.
 
Scope of Practice of the Profession:
 
The Diagnostic Sonographer is a highly skilled individual qualified by academic and clinical experience to provide diagnostic patient services using ultrasound and related diagnostic techniques.  The Diagnostic Sonographer is responsible for producing the best diagnostic information possible with the available resources.  Diagnostic Sonographer’s acquire and evaluate data, while exercising discretion and judgment in performance of the clinical examination.  The Diagnostic Sonographer is able to:
  1. Obtain, review, and bring together pertinent patient history, physical examination, and supporting clinical data to facilitate diagnostic results.
  2. Perform diagnostic procedures by producing, assessing, and evaluating ultrasound images and related data that are used by physicians to render a medical diagnosis.
  3. Provide interpreting physicians with an oral or written summary of technical findings.
  4. Provide patient and public education and promote principles of good health.
 
1 An example of credentials: RDMS (registered diagnostic medical sonographer), RDCS (registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer), RVT (registered vascular technologist); awarded by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers,® a certifying body with NCCA Category "A" membership.2 Credentials should be awarded by an agency certified by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
Copyright©1993-2000 Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography Dallas,TexasUSA All Rights Reserved Worldwide 
Admissions
Thank you for your interest in Broward College’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program.  We offer an Associate in Science Degree Program. In the A.S. program, Specialty courses in Sonography are offered along with the General Education courses required to earn the Degree. The degree program requires courses be taken in a sequential order for a total of 24 months of study. The requirements for admission are:
 
  • Applicants must submit an official and original documentation that indicates completion of a minimum of a two year course of study in a health science field that is patient-care related, and which leads to Registry, Certification or Licensure.

  • Applicants who have completed a radiological technology program or come from another Sonography program earn the highest amount of points for admission (25 points).
  • If not enough Radiologic Technologists/sonography students apply to fill the available seats in the program, other health professionals who have completed a 2 year program that leads to licensure will be considered for admission based on a point system including registered nurses, physical therapy professionals, nuclear medicine technologists, Medical doctors or Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine trained in the US or outside of the US and a variety of other health care professions (20 Points).
  • Students with a Bachelor's degree earn 15 points
  • Any other type of AS or AA degree earn 10 points.
  • Finally, if seats are still available, students who have completed all the courses required during the 1st term of the program along with Medical Terminology will receive 5 points plus an extra 2 points for Medical Terminology.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor's or associate degree in any area, it is highly recommended that Medical Terminology be completed before the program begins.  Students will earn 2 extra points toward admission.
  • For all applicants, a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average (GPA) is required. The GPA should appear on submitted documentation.

See the Health Sciences Admissions page for further admission details.

For Alumni
If you graduated from Broward College’s ultrasound program, be sure to stay connected to us. You can give back to current sonography students by donating to a scholarship or simply by activating your Alumni & Friends Association membership.​
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