Diagnostic Medical Sonography Frequently Asked Questions

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1 Frequently Asked Questions What is Diagnostic Sonography? Ultrasonography, commonly called sonography, is a diagnostic imaging technology. Ultrasound 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. Sonography can also assist with the taking of cells from an organ (biopsy) for lab testing. Unlike X-rays, sonography is a radiation-free imaging modality. What does a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer do? A diagnostic medical sonographer uses specialized equipment to create images of structures inside the human body. These images are used by physicians to help to make a medical diagnosis. The role of the sonographer is unique in imaging as sonography is very operator dependent. The sonographer must have the ability to differentiate between normal anatomy and disease processes and to document pertinent findings.

2 Professional Technical Standards To ensure the safety of the student and their patients, students of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program must be able to meet the following technical standards: Physical Strength sufficient to: lift some patients, move heavy equipment on wheels (up to approximately 500 lbs), and move patients in wheelchairs and stretchers. Assist patients who may be paralyzed, comatose or otherwise incapacitated from stretchers or wheelchairs onto and off examining tables Work standing on their feet 80% of the time Push and pull on a routine basis Bend and stoop on a routine basis Have full use of both hands, wrists, and shoulders in order to maintain prolonged positions required for scanning Manual dexterity sufficient to enable fine finger and wrist angulations over an extended period of time Exceptional hand-eye coordination Distinguish subtle audible sounds Visual acuity (ability to see fine lines), color distinctions and gradual changes in blacks and grays Ability to conceptualize images in 2-D/3-D form Effective oral and written communication with patients and other health care professionals Organize and accurately perform the individual steps in a sonographic procedure in the proper sequence Emotional Ability to remain calm in changing environment/stress Ability to function autonomously Cope with own emotions Cope with strong emotions in others (grief, anger, stress, etc) Accept constructive feedback Accept responsibility for own actions Ability to be nurturing and compassionate Critical Thinking Identify cause-effect relationships Plan/control activities (organizational skills) Sequence information Makes decisions independently Comprehend and follow instructions Follow a process from start to finish

3 Analytical Thinking Transfer knowledge from one situation to another Evaluate outcomes Problem solve Prioritize tasks (time management) Use long/short term memory Perform multiple responsibilities concurrently Interpersonal Skills Establish rapport with individuals Interact compassionately and effectively with patients Establish professional relationships Respect/value diversity in others Negotiate interpersonal conflict Demonstrate tolerance in working with others Function as part of a team (Source: Essentials of Sonography and Patient Care, Craig, 2006)

4 Program Faculty The Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a partnership between Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay and Northcentral Technical College in Wausau. Please contact the appropriate person for your site. Adjunct faculty are utilized as needed. Jodie Breidel, BS, RDMS, RVT, CNMT Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Green Bay Office: HS 108J Phone: ext Shelly Mondeik, BS, RDCS, RVT, FASE, RDMS Program Director Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Northcentral Technical College Wausau Phone: ext ext (toll free)

5 Career Opportunities and Salary Outlook Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a rapidly growing modality within the imaging field. U. S. Department of Labor statistics indicate a projected 21 to 35% increase in employment opportunities between 2000 and Sonographers can choose to work in a hospital, clinic, private physician s office, or other medical facilities where there is a need for the modality. Career opportunities also exist in education, research, and with many commercial companies. The U. S. Department of Labor lists the salary outlook for Diagnostic Medical Sonographer as a mean o $27.94 per hour or $58,110 annually. The salary range is $19.69 to $37.27 per hour or $40,960 to $77,520 annually. Salaries vary dependent on professional certification, experience, and area of the country employed.

6 Applications and Admissions The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is a partnership between Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay and Northcentral Technical College in Wausau. Please not: Students in the NWTC district have first priority for admission. Please see the tab labeled NWTC district which identifies our district borders. Only applications that meet all the program prerequisites will be considered. Future classes will be selected in accordance with standard NWTC admissions criteria. *Program entrance is determined by date of completed application. Application is considered complete when all exam testing and requirements are met. New students are accepted for entry into the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program each fall semester. *An applicant that accepts entry into the program and withdraws less than one month before semester begins will lose wait list status and be placed at the end of the current wait list if on exists. At this time, the next applicant on the waiting list will be notified and be eligible to enroll into the Sonography program. An accepted applicant will be given one start date deferral without losing their waiting list status if they notify the school in writing 30 days in advance. Those interested in the program should contact Jodie Breidel, at or Malinda Cherry in the Health Sciences office at for more information. Any program changes will be communicated when available.

7 Program Curriculum FIRST SEMESTER (Fall) Course No. Description Credits Medical Terminology DMS-Intro to DMS DMS-Patient Care and Ethics DMS-Cross Sectional Anatomy Gen Anatomy & Physiology 4 SEMESTER TOTAL 15 SECOND SEMESTER (Spring) Course No. Description Credits DMS-Sonography Physics and Instrumentation DMS-Abdominal Sonography DMS-OB/GYN Sonography Written Communication Adv Anatomy & Physiology 4 SEMESTER TOTAL 17 THIRD SEMESTER (Summer) Course No. Description Credits DMS-Scan with Proficiency Oral/Interpersonal Communication Intro to Sociology 3 SEMESTER TOTAL 7 FOURTH SEMESTER (Fall) Course No. Description Credits DMS-Clinical DMS-Sonography of Superficial Structures DMS-OB/GYN Sonography DMS-DMS Clinical Intro to Psychology 3 SEMESTER TOTAL 14 FIFTH SEMESTER (Spring) Course No. Description Credits DMS-Intro to Cardiac and DMS-DMS Clinical DMS-DMS Clinical DMS-Registry Review Race, Ethnic & Diversity 3 Elective 2 SEMESTER TOTAL 15 PROGRAM TOTAL 68

8 Program Prerequisites Candidates seeking admission into the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program should follow the Admission Guidelines listed below. High school candidates must have senior status to apply, however they have to complete the program prerequisites before wait list admission will be granted. Senior applicants also must graduate high school or equivalent before beginning the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. Completed application packet must include the following: 1. Application Submit application with #30 application fee. Applicants must apply and pay the $30 fee to each college for consideration at each college. 2. High School transcripts and GED, if applicable. High School graduation or equivalent if required. 3. Postsecondary transcripts Send all college transcripts. 4. Evidence of successful completion of the following courses or the equivalent is required prior to further processing. a. Algebra two semesters of high school algebra or one semester of post-secondary algebra with a grade of C or better. b. Physics two semesters of high school physics with a grade of C or better. c. Biology two semesters of high school biology or one semester of post-secondary biology with grades of C or better. d. Chemistry two semesters of high school chemistry or one semester of postsecondary chemistry with a grade of C or better references from professional or academic experiences. 6. An essay (no more than 1000 words) outlining a description of why they are interested in the profession, their current knowledge of & experience in the profession, the specific skills & duties of a sonographer and why they are a good candidate for the program. All students are expected to have entry level computer skills. If a candidate is unsure of their skills, the Learning center basic computer skills coursework is recommended. (Self-choice) To be accepted into the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, the following testing standards must be obtained. ACCUPLACER ACT TABE Arithmetic 70 Mathematics 18 Arithmetic 10.7 Algebra 60 English and Reading 19 Reading 12.9 Sentence Skills 84 Science 20 Sentence Skills 10.4

9 ACT/TABE scores may be accepted in place of the ACCUPLACER (students with an overall score of 20 or higher along with acceptable ACT scores in Mathematics, Reading, and English will not be required to write the ACCUPLACER. If the above scores are not met, the student must complete necessary courses with a grade of C or better to meet the admissions standard. Applicants who have scores not meeting requirements will be required to complete remediation prior to full admission into the program or placement on the wait list. Applicants not meeting the minimum scores on the ACCUPLACER or ACT will not be accepted with a program code and thus not be eligible for financial aid. The DMS program follows a competitive enrollment process. Candidate applications are reviewed by a selection committee. Candidates are ranked in the following categories: Assessment, Math/Science, Essays and References. The highest ranking will be offered a place on the program wait list; remaining candidates will have the opportunity to re-apply.

10 NWTC District The areas of Wisconsin that are included in the NWTC district are as follows: Brown County Kewaunee County Oconto County Door County Marinette County Florence County Plus: Denmark School district in Manitowoc County West De Pere School district in Outagamie County Gillett, Bonduel & Shawano School districts in Shawano County Pulaski School district in Outagamie & Shawano Counties

11 Clinical Rotations/Sites Clinical education is a MANDATORY part of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. Clinical education sections are designed to provide actual hands-on training to correlate to the didactic course work. Every effort will be made to keep students close to home for their clinical education experience, but this may not always be possible and students may be required to travel to their clinical sites. Clinical instructors at each site will assist in the student training and evaluation. Students must pass each section of their clinical education to progress in the DMS program.

12 Professional Certification/Continuing Education Requirements Graduates of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program will meet the requirements to take the National Professional Certification Examinations in the specialty(ies) as appropriate for their training. These exams are offered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Sonographers (ARDMS). Candidates successfully completing these exams will earn the credential of Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer or RDMS. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers also must comply with Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements to maintain their credentials. These standards are published and monitored by the ARDMS.

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