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Does anyone know what kind of classes you have to take to become a Diagnostic medical sonographer?

Does anyone know what kind of classes you have to take to become a Diagnostic medical sonographer?

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A few days ago

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been moved from March 1st to FEBRUARY 1st of each year. Please be aware that any outdated printed materials may not accurately reflect this change.

Welcome to the informational web page for the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Thank you for your interest in the program. There are two ways in which an individual may choose to enroll in our educational program. One option leads to a Baccalaureate Degree in Radiation Sciences and the other a Certificate of Completion in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Either option requires the applicant to meet the minimum admissions requirements for the program.

Details about the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program are available by selecting the bullets below. Details about the Baccalaureate Degree in Radiation Sciences are available at that website.

Persons with a background in radiologic technology may choose either option. Persons who already have a Bachelor’s degree or do not have a radiologic technology background may choose the certificate option.

If you would like a tour or need additional information, please email or call:

Stephanie Ellingson, MS, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, RTR

Program Director

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

Phone: (319) 356-4871

E-mail: stephanie-ellings[email protected]

The Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

Program Description, Mission, Goals, Curriculum and Accreditation

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Procedure

Technical Standards

Fees and Expenses

Contact Information

The Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

The Diagnostic Medical Sonographer is a skilled professional who uses equipment producing high-frequency sound waves to create diagnostic images and data that help health care professionals diagnose patients with disease. Ultrasound imaging is used on many parts of the body, including the abdomen, blood vessels, and the developing fetus of a pregnant woman.

When determining normal and abnormal findings, the sonographer must demonstrate sectional anatomy through transducer manipulation. The sonographer uses independent judgment in recognizing the need to extend the scope of the study according to the diagnostic findings. These professionals participate in the reading sessions with physicians, contributing technical and professional knowledge and observation to the final diagnostic impression.

The sonographer spends extended time with the patient obtaining a thorough history of symptoms, explaining the exam, answering questions, and performing the exam. He or she must also recognize emergency patient care situations and institute lifesaving first aid when necessary.

Extended patient contact and added professional responsibility are only a couple of the many rewards found in the field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

Other Diagnostic Medical Sonography Related Websites:

The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography: www.sdms.org

The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography: www.ardms.org

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, one of the nation’s most prestigious university-owned teaching hospitals, collaborates with the University of Iowa College of Medicine under a partnership known as University of Iowa Health Care. Together, they serve as a State resource for patient care, biomedical research, and medical education. UI Hospitals and Clinics serves as Iowa’s tertiary health care center and is the primary clinical base for a broad range of health science education programs. Operating in support of the state’s private physicians and community hospitals, UI Hospitals and Clinics has approximately 700 beds and 7,000 staff members and serves more than 500,000 patients annually. Approximately 2,500 sonographic and vascular procedures are performed each month in various specialty labs using a wide variety of advanced equipment.

University of Iowa Health Care incorporates a tremendous array of educational resources, including the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences and libraries within various specialty departments. Students attend case conferences and lectures given by highly respected physicians from UI Health Care and by visiting professors from other prominent academic centers.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program consists of didactic and clinical education integrated into 18 months of intensive, full-time study beginning in late August. The curriculum includes courses and clinical experience in both general sonography and vascular technology. Students spend 40 hours per week within the hospital environment. Part of this time is spent in classroom instruction and laboratory activities; the remaining time involves clinical instruction in patient care areas. Clinical time is spent in many different areas of UI Hospitals and Clinics including the Departments of Radiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Surgery. Rotations to other clinical sites provide a variety of additional clinical experiences. The program involves study and class preparation beyond the 40-hour week.

Program Mission

The program offers high quality, enthusiastic students an ambitious education that provides them with the information, resources, and environment necessary to become compassionate, competent, responsible, and independent sonography professionals. The program’s mission is supported by a caring team of educational staff, sonographers, and physicians with expertise in various aspects of sonography and a commitment to education. An extensive array of didactic resources and a wide variety of advanced clinical experiences at a renowned academic medical center provide graduates with the skills and versatility needed to function in a variety of health care facilities. The program’s mission is in concert with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics’ mission of service to all Iowans.

Program Goals

Recruit highly qualified students into the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

Provide an educational experience to support and comply with the Code of Ethics for the Profession of Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound and the Scope of Practice for the Diagnostic Ultrasound Professional as developed by the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Build upon a core health science curriculum that includes Medical Terminology, Ethics and Law, Pathophysiology and Patient Care

Provide academic activities that enable graduates to develop a thorough knowledge base for the use of diagnostic ultrasound imaging and testing of the human body

Provide a general and vascular sonography curriculum that will include abdominal, obstetrics and gynecology, neurosonography, vascular technology principles, physics and instrumentation

Provide students with the knowledge, clinical skills, problem-solving abilities and interpersonal skills to practice in the profession of sonography

Make the students aware of the importance of professional life-long learning

Graduate sonography professionals that function as an important and competent part of the health care team, and represent the commitment to excellence that the program strives to achieve


Orientation and Introduction

Seminars in Patient Care

Medial Ethics and Law

Introduction to Pathology

Obstetrical and Gynecological Sonography I and II

Abdominal Sonography I, II and III

Vascular Technology I and II


Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation

Advanced Sonography

Professional Development I, II, III, IV, V

Introduction to Research

Comprehensive Review

Clinical Education I, II, III, IV, V


The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS). Successful completion of the program qualifies the student to sit for the national certification exam given by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers in the specialty areas of abdomen, obstetrics and gynecology, neurosonography and vascular technology.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Education Related Websites:

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program: www.caahep.org

The Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography: www.jrcdms.org

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for admission, a candidate must meet all of the standards for one of the following admissions paths. Standards have been adapted from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography policy on prerequisites.

Allied Health Education

Graduate or student in good standing in a nationally accredited allied health program in the United States that is patient care related and at least two years in length. Preferred area of study is Radiologic Technology. Other examples of professionals who are eligible include Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Therapy, Medical Technology (Clinical Laboratory Science) and Nursing.

Post-secondary coursework in physics, human anatomy, patient care, medical terminology, and algebra. High school algebra is the minimum math requirement. Two years high school or one year college is preferred.


Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited United States college or university.

Post-secondary coursework in physics, human anatomy, patient care, medical terminology, and algebra. High school algebra is the minimum math requirement. Two years high school or one year college is preferred. Suggested avenues for meeting patient care course requirements include nurse aide or emergency medical technician – basic programs. The patient care course must be a minimum of 45 didactic contact hours taken at an accredited United States institution.

Clinical experience involving extensive direct patient contact of at least 100 hours within the last five years. Submit the Verification of Patient Care Experience form contained in the application materials to fulfill this requirement. Include your verifying supervisor as one of your three references in the application process.

Explanation of Patient Care Requirements

The prerequisite requirement of a patient care course is necessary due to the length of the sonography program and the concentrated sonography curriculum. The program curriculum does not include basic patient care coursework. Examples of patient care course content that are central to the sonography program include: infection control, aseptic technique, communication techniques and regulations, history taking skills, chart use and recording, basic patient care and safety, ergonomics, vital signs, suction, oxygen, crash cart, venipuncture, pharmacology, allergic reactions and medical emergencies.

Applicants must demonstrate health care experience sufficient for the development of an understanding of the sonographer role, of the health care environment, and of their own aptitude for the sonography profession. Direct patient care experience is necessary to ensure a level of proficiency needed to be successful in the sonography program. The sonography clinical education component of the program requires an immediate ability to focus on sonography specific skills. Therefore, basic patient care skills are required upon admission to the program.

Physical Exam

All Diagnostic Medical Sonography students are required to have a pre-entrance medical physical examination before they start the clinical phase of their program and must show proof of insurance coverage. The physical and/or immunizations and TB tests may be obtained at UI Student Health Services or from your personal physician. (University of Iowa Student Health Service estimate is $85; which includes a physical examination, urinalysis dipstick, and TB skin and mask-fitting tests. Approximate total cost of vaccinations, if needed, is an additional estimated $155.)

English Proficiency

The University’s English proficiency requirement assures that applicants whose native language is not English know English well enough to study without being hindered by language problems, to understand lectures, and to participate successfully in class discussions. Due to the technical nature of the subject matter covered in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography curriculum and the fact that clinical rotations require the student to be able to converse effectively with patients and hospital staff, a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 600 on the paper-based test (250 on the computer-based test) is required.


Under present College of Medicine regulations, applications will only be accepted from U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Admissions Procedure

Class size is limited, and not all applicants are selected for admission to the program. Applications and all required documentation must be submitted to the program office by February 1 for consideration