In an AAS in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, students learn to use ultrasound equipment to create internal body images with the use of high-frequency sound waves, which are then used by doctors to diagnose medical issues. Students also learn to interact with patients and explain procedures to them. Applicants must have a physical examination and be certified in CPR, in addition to the typically required high school diploma or GED.
Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography Overview
The curriculum for this program includes courses, lab studies and clinical education. Students study anatomy, physiology, medical ethics and patient care. Students can expect to take some of the following or similar courses:
- Health care orientation
- Ultrasound instrumentation
- Sonography techniques
- General pathology
- Professional issues in sonography
- Nurse aide training
Popular Career Options
Diagnostic medical sonography is a career that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), will have very good employment options because it is expected to experience 26% growth over the 2014-2024 period (www.bls.gov). The bureau also stated that sonographers with multiple certifications and specialties will have the best opportunities. The mean annual wage in May 2015 was $70,880. Some popular career options for diagnostic medical sonography include:
- Obstetric and gynecologic sonographer
- Breast sonographer
- Abdominal sonographer
- Cardiac sonographer
- Vascular technologist
Continuing Education Information
Although no state requires diagnostic medical sonographers be licensed, employers prefer that their sonographers be registered. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) offers the credential of Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS). Participants must pass two examinations to earn this credential. The ARDMS offers credentials in several specialty areas. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologist and the Cardiovascular Credentialing International also offer credentials to interested individuals. Continuing education must be completed to maintain registration.
An Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program trains students in sonography and patient care to prepare them for work as sonographers. Graduates can expect positive job growth and may need to register with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.