Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a medical profession specialized in diagnostic imaging. Professionals in this field are called sonographers. They specialize in the use of high frequent sound to create body images especially those of soft tissues like kidneys, pancreases, liver and gallbladder. These images help in diagnosis and treatment of diseases. One of the latest uses of diagnostic ultrasound is the examination of unborn children. Technical advances in ultrasound have now made it possible to evaluate numerous blood vessels of the unborn baby and the expectant mother.
Highly-trained sonographers are on high demand in clinics, hospitals, and other mobile services. Diagnostic Medical Sonography is highly competitive, therefore, limited-access program. At Virginia College, students who satisfy the program requirements must apply and be accepted for enrollment. Program Prerequisite courses must be completed with at least minimum average grade C. Other test requirements for Health Sciences must be satisfied fully. Completed application should be submitted with application fee as stated by the College by the deadline.
The program is designed to meet the medical needs. By the end of the program, students are well educated and trained in sonography of the vascular system, abdomen, and obstetrics. Major areas of concentration include vascular scanning, abdominal and reproductive systems, ultrasound physics and instrumentation, obstetrical and superficial structures. Graduates are expected to become competent entry-level technologists and sonographers in psychomotor (skills), cognitive (knowledge) and effective (behavior) domains. Ultrasound requires the application, analysis, synthesizing and evaluation of the class theories in real life medical daily experience. Graduate sonographers are expected to:
- Obtain history and lab results of patients for the ultrasound exam.
- Understand physiology, pathophysiology and anatomy of organ systems.
- Recognize abnormal and normal sonographic characteristics of organs.
- Evaluate and analyze sonographic images.
- Talk to patients to identify any symptoms.
- Effectively work with other healthcare professionals.
- Know protocols of thorough and logical survey of organs.
Ultrasound Technicians, interchangeably used for sonographers, are trained to work closely with other healthcare professionals as a team because the diagnosis is highly dependent on the quality of diagnostic images. At Virginia College, the program includes 400 hours clinical experience at the medical facility and there after practicals, hands-on time in the ultrasound field under the mentorship of physicians and sonographers who are qualified. Successful students from the program are eligible to seek placement in hospitals and clinics after graduation (Sherry & Clifford 149). Some of the titles of these professionals are Diagnostic medical sonographer, Medical Sonographer, Cardiac/Vascular Sonographer, Cardiac sonographer and Ultrasound Technician.
The increasing use of diagnostic medical sonography, miniaturization and enhanced computer technologies, the growth of the field is projected to go higher increasing employment opportunities for ultrasound technicians in urban and rural areas likewise. With accreditation by Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) and experienced instructors, Virginia College offers quality training therefore is it trusted globally.
Sherry, Clifford J. Opportunities in Medical Imaging Careers. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006. Print.
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