What is General Sonography?
The General Sonography continuing education program trains students to conduct a variety of exams which include abdominal, pelvic neurology, breast, gynecological and obstetrical. Students will learn to image standard views of different organs of the body. This concentration focuses on anatomy and teaches students to recognize pathology of many different organs.
The Diagnostic Medical Sonographer is a skilled member of the imaging health care team. The sonographer must possess in-depth knowledge of human anatomy, physiology and pathology to apply to imaging procedures. As there are several specialties within the realm of ultrasound, a sonographer's specific specialty area(s) will be determined by personal interests, background, and training.
About the Program
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program offers two separate concentrations of study - Cardiac and General. The program is a full-time non-degree program that is 15 months in length and meets the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography's examination prerequisites.
All courses in the curriculum must be passed with a grade of "C" or higher in order to proceed to the next course in the sequence. Upon program completion, graduates may apply as candidates for certification through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Once the physics portion and any one of the other is passed the graduate will have the title of Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS), Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT) or Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS). Graduates of the program may also qualify as candidates of sonography certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technology (ARRT).
Depending on the program from which the student graduates, the graduate will be eligible to sit for the Physics and Instrumentation exam, the Abdominal exam and the OB-GYN exam OR the Vascular Technology, Adult Echocardiography, Cardiac Physics, and Vascular Physics.
About the Career
The sonographer comes into close contact with patients, which necessitates excellent interpersonal skills. Ultrasound procedures are performed with real-time B-mode and Doppler instrumentation, utilizing a transducer assembly against the anatomical part of interest and recording the images with ancillary devices, such as laser disks, video recorders, and color printers. Most ultrasound procedures are non-invasive in nature, although with continuing advances in technology, the addition of more invasive studies increases each year.
Employment opportunities are varied. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers may be employed in hospitals, clinics, private offices, and industry. There is also a need for suitably qualified educators, researchers and administrators. The demand for registered sonographers continues to exceed the supply, and sonography has become a beneficial skill in the multi-modality health care environment. The supply and demand ratios affect salaries, depending upon experience, job description and geographic location. In the southeastern region, entry-level diagnostic sonographers earn $40,000-45,000 annually. The following is an example of the courses that students are required to take. As technology changes, so may the classes.