Diagnostic Medical Sonography
About the Associate of Applied Science Program
The DMS program is accredited in general studies which include abdomen and OB/GYN. The sonography program offers the student the knowledge, skills and ability to provide high-quality diagnostic images to a physician for aiding in the diagnosis of disease. Most sonographers work in hospitals, medical clinics and private medical offices; while some are employed in the industrial, sales, governmental and education institutions.
The 24-month (six semesters) program is an intensive program designed for individuals new to patient care. After acceptance into the program, the first year (three semesters) is didactic on campus with hands-on learning in LCCC's state of the art sonography lab with highly qualified registered sonographers/instructors. The last three semesters of the program are primarily clinical experience, and students may be placed in various hospitals and clinics in Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska.
Graduates of this program will receive an Associate of Applied Science degree and will be eligible to take the national certifying examination of the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) for abdomen and obstetrics and gynecology. Students can sit for testing 60 days prior to graduation and upon passing the examinations and completion of the program will be an active registered diagnostic medical sonographer (RDMS).
The program has limited enrollment and admits one class each summer. Prerequisite courses must be completed or in progress prior to application for program admission. Prospective students interested in the program may contact the program director for details about the program admission process and timeline.
Students starting the program Summer of 2015 and 2016, refer to the 2014-2015 Academic Catalog. Pending JRCDMS approval, students starting the program Summer of 2017, refer to the pending 2016-2017 Academic Catalog. A student interested in applying for the sonography program may contact the sonography program director, clinical coordinator or the Admissions Office for specific procedures. Selection of new students will be completed by early April and is based on a student’s prerequisite grade point average, prerequisites completed or in-progress at time of application, the date of receipt of application, and other criteria as noted on program application materials and an interview. The scoring is weighted 70/30 on the interview (70 percent) and application (30 percent).
The LCCC DMS Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS). Acceptance into the program is dependent on the number of clinical sites
available each year. Nearly 100 percent of students are employed immediately upon
or prior to graduation from the program. The program begins a new class in the summer.
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
1361 Park Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
About the Career
The diagnostic medical sonographer is a skilled person qualified academically and clinically to perform ultrasound exams while working closely with a qualified physician. To create an ultrasound image, the sonographer must have an in-depth knowledge of physics, disease processes, human anatomy and sonographic technique. Physicians depend on the sonographer’s knowledge to evaluate normal and abnormal body parts.
Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) is a diagnostic procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to create detailed images of the human body. Sonographers use state-of-the-art technology to scan patients and obtain images of the abdomen, heart, blood vessels and fetus to aid in the diagnosis of a disease. Sonography is a profession that requires a high degree of independence, judgment, knowledge, maturity and stamina.
Most sonographers seek employment in medical clinics and hospitals.
Drug Screening and Criminal Background Checks
At their discretion, clinical sites may require a drug screening and/or a criminal background check prior to allowing students into the clinical setting. (If required, any associated fees will be the responsibility of the student.) Clinical sites may also require random drug testing and/or drug testing for reasonable cause. Testing positive on the drug screening or evidence of tampering with a specimen will disqualify a student from participation from clinical assignment.
In addition to drug screening, for the safety of patients and health care workers, allied health workers must undergo a background check performed at the student's expense. The student's acceptance will not be final until LCCC has received background check information from the reporting agencies, and the background check is clear of disqualifying offenses. Certain criminal activities, as evidenced by a criminal background check, may also disqualify a student from clinical participation.
Students are advised that the inability to gain clinical education experiences can result in the inability to meet program objectives and outcomes. These circumstances may prevent acceptance into and/or continuance in the program. For more information, please see the complete Health Sciences and Wellness Division Policy (pdf) for allied health students.
NOTE: Applicants who have been convicted of a crime should contact www.ardms.org to determine if their conviction will prevent them from taking the certification boards and or the ability to obtain employment in a health care setting. Any student who cannot pass the background check and is not be eligible to attend clinicals will be dismissed from the program.
The sonography program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756, upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS). This guarantees that students enrolled in the program have instruction based on an up-to-date curriculum, the opportunity to train on state-of-the-art sonographic equipment, appropriate supervision levels, and that graduates have the ability to obtain a license in all U.S. states mandating this requirement.
National Certification Eligibility
Graduates of the program are eligible to take the national certifying examination of the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). The program's pass rate for this examination is very high; LCCC graduates have posted a 100 percent pass rate since 2010. As of 2015, students are eligible to sit for Sonography Principles and Instrumentation, Abdomen, and Obstetrics and Gynecology registries 60 days prior to graduation.
The majority of students are able to find employment in the field prior to or soon after graduation. Employment is expected to grow "faster than average" with an increase of almost 42,000 jobs by 2022 due to the aging population and increased demand for diagnostic imaging, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Fully Equipped Laboratory
The sonography program's laboratory includes state-of-the-art equipment, including Philips iU22 (F-Cart), GE Logiq 7, GE Voluson, and Siemens S2000. In addition, the lab is equipped with a Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) Network System, which allows students to train in the proper manner that they are expected to complete paperwork in the clinical setting and workplace.
Goals & Mission
The LCCC DMS program is dedicated to providing quality education for its students to promote excellence in the art and science of sonography. Guided by the mission of the college, the program strives to provide academic and clinical experiences that produce competent and compassionate sonographers with a commitment to the performance of quality imaging and the pursuit of lifelong learning.
Program Goals & Objectives
The LCCC DMS program's goal is to prepare competent entry-level sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. Graduates will be able to perform, at a minimum, the following objectives:
- Students will obtain, review and integrate pertinent patient data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results.
- Students will select appropriate technical factors when scanning patients.
- Students will perform sonographic procedures appropriately and accurately recording all anatomic and physiologic information for interpretation by a physician.
- Students will document and present complete and accurate sonographic findings to the interpreting physician in order to facilitate patient diagnosis.
- Students will maintain optimal function of the sonographic equipment.
- Students will assist physician during invasive ultrasound guided procedures.
- Students will manipulate technical variables to obtain optimal diagnostic images.
- Students will evaluate images for diagnostic quality, identifying appropriate solutions for poor image quality.
- Students will demonstrate effective oral communication skills with patients and all members of the healthcare team.
- Students will demonstrate effective written communication skills.
- Students will provide customer relations skills in patient care and education to promote overall well-being.
- Students will adapt exam positioning and protocols due to patient condition.
- Students will employ a safe work environment.
- Students will act in a professional manner within recognized ethical and legal standards.
- Students will demonstrate a respect for diversity and the ability to work with others and special patient populations.
- Students will demonstrate workplace behavior conducive to professional advancement.
- Students will differentiate between the ARDMS and ARRT exam(s), and additional certification opportunities.
- Students will demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning.
- Students will pass the ARDMS SPI on the first attempt.
- Students will pass the ARDMS AB and/or OB on the first attempt.
- Of those pursuing employment, students will be gainfully employed within six months post-graduation.
- Students will complete the program.
- Students will express satisfaction with their education.
- Employers will express satisfaction with LCCC graduate performance.
Program Effectiveness Data
|Effectiveness Measure||Annual Rate
(Class of 2015)
|Five Year Rate
|Credentialing Examination Pass Rate - Abdomen (1st attempt)||9/9 = 100%||21/22 = 95%|
|Credentialing Examination Pass Rate – Obstetrics and Gynecology (1st attempt)||2/2 = 100%||15/16 = 93.8%|
|Sonography Principle and Instrumentation Pass Rate (1st attempt)||9/9 = 100%||24/24 = 100%|
Job Placement Rate (Graduates actively seeking employment within 12 months)
|9/9 = 100%||23/23 = 100%|
|Program Completion Rate||9/9 = 100%||23/24 = 95.8%|