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Diagnostic Medical Sonography Degree

Diagnostic Medical Sonography classroom at Harper

Prepare for a career as a diagnostic medical sonographer

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  • Diagnostic medical sonographer

A diagnostic medical sonographer is a highly-skilled professional who uses specialized ultrasound equipment to record visual images of internal structures of the abdomen, pelvis and neck. They work in hospitals and out-patient settings producing these ultrasounds to assist the physician in diagnosing disease.

This degree prepares you to secure their American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography credentials and entry-level work in the abdomen and obstetrics/gynecology specialty areas. You also receive instruction in vascular sonography. A clinical hospital experience in abdominal, small parts, vascular, obstetrical and gynecological ultrasound is provided.

This is a limited-enrollment program. Please review this program's admission criteria and process.

AAS degree program requirements

This 71 credit-hour program prepares the graduate to be a diagnostic medical sonographer. A diagnostic medical sonographer is a highly skilled professional who uses specialized ultrasound equipment to record visual images of internal structures of the abdomen, pelvis and neck. They work in hospitals and outpatient settings producing these ultrasounds to assist the physician in diagnosing disease. This degree program prepares the graduate to secure their American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography credentials and entry-level work in the abdomen and obstetrics/gynecology specialty areas. The graduate also receives instruction in vascular sonography. A clinical hospital experience in abdominal, small parts, vascular, obstetrical and gynecological ultrasound is provided.

Because of the nature of clinical experiences and individualized instruction required in this program and specialized technology and the equipment necessary to offer this program, a higher tuition rate is assessed for career-specific courses, including courses with the DMS prefix. Tuition for these courses in this program is 200 percent of the standard tuition rate.

Admission Requirements:

Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a limited enrollment program. For admission requirements, please contact the Admissions Outreach Office at 847.925.6700 or visit harpercollege.edu

Students who apply for this limited enrollment program are obligated to meet current admission requirements and follow program curriculum as defined at the time of acceptance to the program.

F = Fall only course S = Spring only course U = Summer only course

PREREQUISITES:

A grade of C or better in all coursework is required for all students.

Number Course Title Credits Category
BIO 160 1 4 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces the anatomy of the human body; the following systems studied either regionally or systemically: integumentary, skeletal, articular, muscular, circulatory, lymphatic, nervous, respiratory, digestive, excretory, endocrine and reproductive. Includes some introductory histology. Specially designed for students in health careers, biology, and physical education. Strongly recommended preparation: One year of high school biology with a grade of C or better taken within the last five years, or BIO 110. (NOTE: Lab science credit.)

Prerequisite: Placement into ENG 101. ENG_Placement_Grid.pdf

BIO 161 1 4 Program Requirement

Description: Emphasizes physiological principles at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ and system level, as they pertain to the human organism. The following systems are studied in detail: skeletal, muscular, circulatory, nervous, digestive, respiratory, urinary, reproductive and endocrine. In this course, special applications will be made to meet the needs of students in health careers, biology and physical education.(NOTE: Lab science credit.)

Prerequisite: BIO 160 with a grade of C or better, or consent of instructor.

ENG 101 3 Communications

Description: Emphasizes the writing of expository prose. Introduction to the critical reading of nonfiction prose. IAI C1 900

Prerequisite: ENG 100 with a grade of C or better. Other placement options. ENG_Placement_Grid.pdf ESL students need one of the following options: ESL 073 and ESL 074 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 086 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 099 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 with required writing placement test score; or ESL 074 with required reading placement test score.

Mathematics2 3 Mathematics
PHY 100 3 3 Natural Science

Description: Examines basic topics in physics including motion, force, energy, electricity and magnetism, waves and particles, and atomic structure. Course is for non-science majors fulfilling non-laboratory science requirements. IAI P1 900

Prerequisite: MTH 080 with a grade of C or better, or placement into MTH 101 (Quantitative Literacy). Math_Placement_Grid.pdf

FIRST SEMESTER:

A grade of C or better in all coursework is required for all students.

Number Course Title Credits Category
DMS 105 2 Program Requirement

Description: Instructs students in the ultrasound imaging programs in the principles of ultrasound physics and instrumentation. Examines continuous and pulsed sound, sound wave intensities, interaction of sound and media, sound propagation, axial resolution, transducer basics, anatomy of a sound wave, and basic display modalities.

Prerequisite: Admission into the DMS program.

DMS 107 2 Program Requirement

Description: Discusses the role of a sonographer and the sonography profession. Examines the different sonography specialty areas and related sonographic exams. Explores the ultrasound cross sectional anatomy of the abdomen, pelvis, chest and neck. Maps the circulation of the cerebral vascular system. Introduces the normal and abnormal cerebrovascular ultrasound. Investigates cerebrovascular disease and trains the student to interpret cerebrovascular ultrasound exams.

Corequisite: DMS 109

DMS 109 4 1 Program Requirement

Description: Provides laboratory practice in the basics of ultrasound imaging. Introduces professional expectations of the student sonographer. Covers proper procedure and body mechanics for an ultrasound exam. Orients the student to imaging body habitus. Instructs on the operation of ultrasound equipment. Trains the student to perform diagnostic carotid sonograms. Pass/fail grade.

Corequisite: DMS 107.

HSC 112 2 Program Requirement

Description: Emphasizes the origin and the basic structure of medical words, including prefixes, suffixes, word roots, combining forms and plurals. Offers pronunciation, spelling, and definition of medical terms based on the body systems approach. Emphasis on rendering a professional vocabulary required for work in the health care field.

HSC 165 1 Program Requirement

Description: Examines the mechanism of action of the major medication groups as they relate to the physiology and pathology of disease. Identifies examples in each major pharmacological category in order to understand pharmacological activity within each group. Addresses areas of drug action, clinical application, and adverse events for each medication discussed. Considers needs of patients undergoing drug therapy and the role of the allied health provider.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in BIO 135, BIO 160 or HSC 112 with a grade of C or better.

Humanities or Social and Behavioral Science+ 3 Humanities or Social and Behavioral Science

SECOND SEMESTER:

A grade of C or better in all coursework is required for all students.

Number Course Title Credits Category
DMS 106 2 Program Requirement

Description: Continues to instruct students in the ultrasound imaging programs in the principles of ultrasound physics and instrumentation. Examines real time imaging, ultrasound instrumentation, displays, signal processing, harmonics, and Doppler principles. Concludes with imaging artifacts, bioeffects, and quality assurance.

Prerequisite: DMS 105 with a grade of C or better.

DMS 108 2 Program Requirement

Description: Builds on the theoretical foundations covered in Sonography Theory I. Explores the ultrasound cross sectional vascular anatomy of the extremities. Maps the circulation from the trunk to the periphery. Introduces the normal and abnormal peripheral arterial and venous sonogram. Investigates peripheral vascular disease. Trains the student to interpret peripheral arterial and venous sonographic studies.

Prerequisite: DMS 107 with a grade of C or better.

Corequisite: DMS 110.

DMS 110 4 1 Program Requirement

Description: Provides laboratory practice in peripheral vascular ultrasound imaging. Trains the student to perform diagnostic peripheral arterial and venous sonographic examinations. Non-imaging physiological peripheral arterial examination techniques are also covered. Expands upon the professional expectations of the student sonographer. Pass/fail grade.

Prerequisite: DMS 109 with a grade of C or better.

Corequisite: DMS 108.

HSC 104 2 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces student to informatics and the use of technology in health care delivery systems. This includes a review of hardware and software, and an in-depth look at hospital/health care-based user interfaces, data bases, telecommunications and networks, and healthcare-based information systems. Also includes research methods and patient education via computers.

HSC 213 2 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces the legal and ethical issues that pertain to various health care delivery settings. Discusses how these issues impact the health care practitioner in a diverse culture. Practices and standards are discussed as they relate to professional behavior and ethical decision-making.

SPE 101 3 Communications

Description: Theory and practice of oral communications. Development of poise, confidence and skill in speech organization and delivery. Emphasis on frequent speaking, development of standards of criticism and selection and organization of material. IAI C2 900

SUMMER SESSION (Optional):

A grade of C or better in all coursework is required for all students.

Number Course Title Credits Category
DMS 112 5  U   1 Program Requirement

Description: Provides additional laboratory practice in common vascular ultrasound exams. This course is not required for graduation. Pass/fail grade.

THIRD SEMESTER:

A grade of C or better in all coursework is required for all students.

Number Course Title Credits Category
DMS 201 3 Program Requirement

Description: Prepares the student for their role as a medical sonographer in the hospital setting. Covers relevant policies, procedures, and considerations for working in the hospital, caring for patients, and completing sonograms in the clinical environment. Grooms the student for entrance into the sonography profession. Includes simulated and observational hospital experiences.

Corequisite: DMS 204, DMS 205, and DMS 206.

DMS 204 4 Program Requirement

Description: Explores the ultrasound cross sectional anatomy of the major structures and organs of the abdomen. Maps the related abdominal circulation. Introduces the normal and abnormal ultrasound of the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen and urinary system. Investigates pathologies of these same structures. Trains the student to interpret these pathologies on ultrasound.

Prerequisite: DMS 106 with a grade of C or better.

Corequisite: DMS 205 and DMS 206.

DMS 205 3 Program Requirement

Description: Explores the ultrasound cross sectional anatomy of the female pelvis. Maps the related pelvic circulation. Introduces the normal and abnormal ultrasound of the uterus, ovaries, adnexa, neonatal and pediatric pelvis, and the first trimester pregnancy. Investigates pathologies of these same structures. Trains the student to interpret these pathologies on ultrasound. Introduces the role of ultrasound in evaluating female infertility.

Prerequisite: DMS 106 with a grade of C or better.

Corequisite: DMS 204 and DMS 206.

DMS 206 2 Program Requirement

Description: Provides supervised laboratory instruction and practice in abdominal and gynecologic ultrasound imaging. Trains the student to perform an ultrasound of the aorta, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, urinary system, non-cardiac chest, and female pelvis. Reinforces the professional expectations of the student sonographer. Pass/fail grade.

Prerequisite: DMS 106 with a grade of C or better.

Corequisite: DMS 204 and DMS 205.

FOURTH SEMESTER:

A grade of C or better in all coursework is required for all students.

Number Course Title Credits Category
DMS 207 6 5 Program Requirement

Description: Provides the student with practical clinical experience performing abdominal, small parts, vascular, obstetrical and gynecological ultrasound in a hospital or other clinical setting. Orients the student to that hospital environment and the specific policies and procedures for completing sonograms in that medical setting. Allows the student to perform these ultrasounds on patients under the close supervision of clinical staff. Provides an opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate the knowledge base, clinical skills, and professional skills required of an entry level sonographer.

Prerequisite: DMS 201, DMS 204, DMS 205 and DMS 206 with grades of C or better.

DMS 208 4 Program Requirement

Description: Continues to explore the ultrasound cross sectional anatomy of the abdomen and of specific small parts. Introduces the normal and abnormal ultrasound of the thyroid, scrotum, pediatric abdomen, gastrointestinal tract, abdominal walls and cavities, liver and urinary circulation, breast, neonatal spine and brain, and some specific musculoskeletal structures. Investigates pathologies of these same structures. Trains the student to interpret these pathologies on ultrasound. Reinforces vascular interpretation skills covered in previous coursework. Introduces ultrasound-guided interventional techniques and emergent abdominal ultrasound procedures.

Prerequisite: DMS 204 with a grade of C or better.

Corequisite: DMS 209 and DMS 210.

DMS 209 4 2 Program Requirement

Description: Continues supervised laboratory instruction and practice in abdominal, gynecologic, and vascular ultrasound; expanding into more advanced or targeted ultrasound imaging. Trains the student to perform liver and kidney doppler as well as thyroid, breast, scrotal, transvaginal, obstetric and common musculoskeletal sonographic examinations. Reinforces the professional expectations of the student sonographer. Pass/fail grade.

Prerequisite: DMS 206 with a grade of C or better.

Corequisite: DMS 208 and DMS 210.

DMS 210 3 Program Requirement

Description: Builds on the theoretical foundations covered in DMS 205 (Obstetrical and Gynecological Sonography Theory I.) Explores the ultrasound cross-sectional anatomy of the second and third trimesters. Maps fetal embryology. Introduces the normal and abnormal ultrasound of the first, second and third trimester pregnancy. Investigates pathologies of the pregnant uterus and the developing fetus. Trains the student to interpret these pathologies on ultrasound. Introduces 3D and 4D sonographic evaluations of fetal anomalies.

Prerequisite: DMS 205 with a grade of C or better.

Corequisite: DMS 208 and DMS 209.

SUMMER SESSION:

A grade of C or better in all coursework is required for all students.

Number Course Title Credits Category
DMS 211 6 5 Program Requirement

Description: Continues the student’s practical clinical experience performing abdominal, small parts, vascular, obstetrical and gynecological ultrasounds in a hospital or other clinical setting. Allows the student to perform these ultrasounds on patients under the close supervision of clinical staff. Continues to provide an opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate the knowledge base, clinical skills, and professional skills required of an entry-level sonographer.

Prerequisite: DMS 207 with a grade of C or better.

DMS 260 5 1 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces new or advanced topics in sonography. Explores the evolution and provides necessary background in terms of related anatomy, hemodynamics, physics and pathology. Presents related ultrasound case studies and trains in the interpretation of the ultrasound examination. Covers implications to the performance of the sonographic procedure including protocols, modalities and specific assessment techniques. Enhances the skill of the sonographer past entry level. May be repeated up to six credit hours.

1 - Must be completed no earlier than five years prior to beginning the DMS program; time requirement may be waived for direct patient care providers with a minimum of a two-year allied health care degree.

2 - MTH 165 is recommended. MTH 101, 103 or higher with a grade of C or better may be substituted.

3 - PHY 110 or PHY 121 or higher with a grade of C or better may be substituted.

4 - Every credit hour of sonography lab requires a minimum of 2 hours per week sonography lab practice.

+ - Students need to choose a course to meet this requirement that also fulfills the World Cultures and Diversity graduation requirement. See full list of AAS General Education Electives.

5 - This course is optional and not required for graduation.

6 - Assignments will be based on site availability.

Program learning outcomes

To prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

Graduates of this program will:

  • Recognize abnormal sonographic findings
  • Recognize significant clinical information that impacts the sonographic examination.
  • Maintain a safe environment for him or herself and the patient.
  • Apply concepts of ultrasound physics when imaging.
  • Perform the necessary types of examinations in their specialty area.
  • Perform the required modalities (2D, Doppler, other).
  • Obtain quality images in a timely fashion.
  • Perform a comprehensive diagnostic ultrasound examination.
  • Demonstrate appropriate clinical judgment.
  • Meet professional expectations of the clinical environment.
  • Communicate effectively with patients and members of the health care team.
  • Be positioned to pursue a career as a sonographer.

Resources

Next steps

For more information about the DMS program, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.