There are only a few schools in Tennessee that offer ultrasound programs. Students may choose to earn a certificate or technical certificate in sonography; a bachelor's degree in diagnostic medical sonography is also available. Such sonography programs include courses in ultrasound as well as other types of diagnostic imaging techniques. In addition to traditional, classroom-based schooling, programs include clinical experiences.
Read on for more information about 4 schools in Tennessee to offer programs in ultrasound and sonography and find a comparative table with schools' tuition stats and settings.
Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences
Memphis-based Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences offers the state's only diagnostic medical sonography (DMS) bachelor's degree program. The Bachelor of Health Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program includes courses in abdominal, vascular, obstetric and gynecological sonography. Echocardiography and neurosonography are also taught in this 4-year program. Students are expected to participate in clinical work at an affiliated healthcare facility. After completing this program, graduates can take exams to earn the Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS), Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) and Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT) certifications from ARDMS.
Chattanooga State Community College
Located in Chattanooga, Chattanooga State Community College offers a Technical Certificate of Credit in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound) and a Technical Certificate of Credit in Cardiovascular Sonography. In order to enroll in these 40-credit hour programs, students must have an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in a patient care-related field, as well as hold a certification in that field. Students also need to complete prerequisite general education and healthcare courses and complete an imaging course or have documented imaging experience. Along with laboratory and classroom instruction, students participate in clinical work at a pre-approved healthcare site.
The diagnostic medical sonography certificate program qualifies students to take the ARDMS exam that leads to RDMS certification. The cardiovascular sonography certificate program prepares students for the ARDMS exams related to RDCS and RVT certifications. Students can also seek certifications through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Vanderbilt University can be found in Nashville. This school admits 5 students every year to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate program. Before enrolling in this 18-month program, students need to complete general education coursework, have a 2-year or 4-year degree from an accredited patient-care program and have a recognized certification in their specialty. This program also accepts bachelor's degree program graduates and eligible students enrolled in a 3+1 program at an affiliated school.
Program requirements include 6 integrated didactic rotations and clinical work. Courses include patient care, physics and instrumentation, cross-sectional anatomy, obstetric and gynecological techniques, abdominal techniques and medical ethics. Clinical work can be completed at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center or an affiliated medical facility. Graduates qualify to take exams that can lead to the ARDMS' RDMS certification.
Volunteer State Community College
Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin has a 39-credit hour Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate of Completion program that accepts 12 students every year. This program is available to students who have an associate's degree in a patient care-related field from an American Medical Association-recognized school or a bachelor's degree in any field. Students also need to complete general education prerequisite courses, participate in 16 hours of sonography observation, submit to a drug test, provide 2 letters of recommendation and sit for an interview before enrollment. This program consists of clinical work at a nearby healthcare facility and classroom-based training. Topics include abdominal, obstetric, gynecological and small parts scanning.
All ultrasound programs offered at the 4 schools detailed below are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).Although students won't be required to earn state licensure, students who complete these CAAHEP-accredited ultrasound programs qualify to sit for certification exams that are offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Certified sonographers are often preferred by employers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Ultrasound Programs Offered||Tuition|
|Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Bachelor of Health Sciences in Diagnostic Medical Sonography||$10,892 (for 2015-2016; fees included)*|
|Chattanooga State Community College||2-year, public; midsize city|| Technical Certificate of Credit in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound),
Technical Certificate of Credit in Cardiovascular Sonography
|$3,973 in-state; $15,373 out-of-state (for 2015-2016; fees included)*|
|Vanderbilt University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate||$12,500 (for 2016; entire program; includes books and equipment; fees excluded)**|
|Volunteer State Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate of Completion||$3,925 in-state; $15,325 out-of-state (for 2015-2016; fees included)*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Vanderbilt University