West Virginia students can pursue a bachelor's degree in ultrasound technology, also known as diagnostic medical sonography. An 18-month undergraduate certificate program designed for students with a radiologic technology or related health sciences associate degree is also available. Students complete classroom studies, labs and clinical components. Through these experiences, students learn to perform various types of sonographic procedures, which may include vascular, abdominal and obstetrical ultrasounds.
University of Charleston - Beckley Campus
The diagnostic medical sonography bachelor's degree program at the University of Charleston is available at the campus in Beckley. Students participate in lectures, laboratory courses and clinical training, and they must be prepared to commit 40 hours per week to the program. Students are eligible to sit for ARDMS certification exams for abdomen and obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) after completing the first year of clinical training. After completing the program, graduates can also sit for the ARDMS exams in vascular examinations and echocardiography.
West Virginia University Hospital Departments of Radiology Technology and Nutrition
Located in Morgantown, the university hospital offers an 18-month Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate program. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and aims to prepare graduates for the ARDMS exams in OB/GYN, physics, abdomen and neurosonography.
To qualify for admission, each student must have completed a radiologic technology program approved by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography or a health sciences associate's degree program that includes particular coursework. Only 6 students can be accepted into the program. While in the program, students have access to state-of-the-art equipment, and they can participate in about 10,000 patient exams each year. Coursework covers vascular sonography, physics, breast sonography, case review and other topics.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers prefer to hire sonographers with professional certification, which usually requires completion of an accredited program and the passing of an exam. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) awards certification in various sonography specialty areas to those who pass the corresponding specialty area exam. Specific education requirements must be met before individuals can sit for the exams. Read on for information about the two West Virginia 2 schools with ultrasound - or medical diagnostic sonography - programs.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Ultrasound Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|University of Charleston - Beckley Campus||4-year; private not- for-profit; small city||Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography||$26,100*|
|West Virginia University Hospital Departments of Radiology Technology and Nutrition||4-year; private not-for-profit; small city||Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate||$4,500 program costs*|
Source: *National College Education Board.