Students in Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs are trained to accurately record pathologic and anatomical data to aid physicians in the assessment and diagnosis of medical conditions. Internships and imaging labs allow prospective sonographers to gain hands-on experience performing a variety of procedures, such as scans of a fetus or the abdomen. Ultrasound students often choose a concentration like vascular, cardiac, abdominal and breast sonography.
Requirements for admission for this program include a high school diploma or equivalent and assessment tests. Some programs require science coursework requirements and an associate's degree.
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Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Sonography students take foundational courses in human anatomy and physiology, as well as safe usage of ultrasound machines and equipment. Courses also explore professional standards and current issues in health care, given that graduates often work under the supervision of physicians and other healthcare professionals. Typical courses ultrasound students might take include the following:
- Sectional anatomy
- Ultrasound instrumentation
- Medical genetics
- Topics in sonography
- Diagnostic imaging
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected employment for diagnostic medical sonographers to increase 26%, much faster than average for all fields from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). This projected growth was based on the advancing age of the population and the belief that health care providers will increase their use of ultrasound imaging.
Diagnostic medical sonographers are qualified for entry-level positions in public and private hospitals, medical labs, physicians' offices and outpatient centers. The BLS reported annual median wages of $68,970 for diagnostic medical sonographers in May 2015.
Professional Certification and Continuing Education Information
Diagnostic medical sonographers are not required to hold licensure, but they can earn voluntary certification in several areas, including vascular and cardiac sonography. Certification organizations include the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), the American Registry of Radiologic Technology (ARRT) and Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). Graduates also can continue their health care education through a master's degree program in radiologic sciences.
A Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program trains students to become diagnostic professionals and often allows for specialization within the broader field of healthcare. This program focuses on human anatomy and proper use of ultrasound equipment to prepare students in a career as a sonographer.