Diagnostic Medical Sonography — Certificate (Track 1, Track 2)
Marie T. DeLange
Ramesh C. Bansal
Glenn A. Rouse
Ronda R. Adey
The diagnostic ultrasound profession is a multispecialty field comprised of diagnostic medical sonographers (DMS) with subspecialties in abdomen, obstetrics/gynecology, breast, and pediatrics; vascular technologists (RVT); and diagnostic cardiac sonographers (DCS) with subspecialties in adult, pediatrics, and fetal echocardiography.
The diagnostic ultrasound professional performs patient assessments and acquires and analyzes data obtained using ultrasound diagnostic technologies. The sonographer provides a summary of findings to the physician to aid in patient diagnosis and management. He or she utilizes independent judgment and systematic problem-solving methods to produce quality diagnostic information. A sonographer must complete comprehensive clinical training and obtain a credential by successfully passing the national boards.
Upon completion of the medical sonography program, the graduate should be qualified to:
- Demonstrate the knowledge and skill required for employment in a hospital or clinic radiology/cardiology department (ultrasound area).
- Demonstrate leadership and critical thinking.
- Conduct him-/herself in a professional manner in all interactions.
- Comply with the current standards and practices set by the governing bodies and professional organizations.
- Apply advanced practice in ultrasonography.
General RDMS and RVT
Track 1 is a twenty-four-month curriculum leading to eligibility to take the RVT (registered vascular technology) and RDMS (registered diagnostic medical sonography) national board examinations. General sonographers perform examinations evaluating organs such as the liver, kidneys, spleen, gallbladder, and thyroid; as well as obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, and breast. The vascular sonographer performs a variety of noninvasive examinations to evaluate the arteries and veins, assess blood flow and valve competency, and detect the presence of clots.
Track 2 is a twelve-month curriculum leading to proficiency in diagnostic imaging of cardiac function and disease processes. Graduates are eligible to take the adult RDCS (registered diagnostic cardiac sonography) board examination.
Upon completion of the certificate requirements, the student is eligible to sit for the national board examination of the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).
All students are required to take and pass the ARDMS Standard Physics and Instrumentation (SPI) examination before completion of the program.
CPR certification (American Heart Association only)
Students are required to have current health-care provider cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification (adult, child, and infant) for all scheduled clinical experiences. CPR certification must be completed at the American Heart Association health-care provider level, and must be completed prior to beginning the program. CPR classes are available on campus at Life Support Education, University Arts building, 24887 Taylor Street, Suite 102.
The medical sonography curricula in both general sonography and echocardiography have been accredited since 1985 by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and reviewed annually by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
Admission is based on a selective process. In addition to Loma Linda University and School of Allied Health Professions admissions requirements, the applicant must also complete the following requirements:
Fulfill one of the following four requirements:
- Hold an ARRT-registered radiologic technologist certification;
- Have graduated from an accredited allied health program, including nursing (two years minimum training), licensed vocational nurse, or registered nurse;
- Hold an associate degree (science preferred not required);
- Hold a baccalaureate degree (science preferred not required);
and must have completed credits in the following:*
- Human anatomy and physiology with laboratory, complete two-semester sequence.
- College algebra
- Medical terminology
- Introduction to physics
- Patient-care methods (will be completed after being accepted into the program) OR complete a Certified Nursing Assistant course, approved by the Program Director
Specific course requirements must be completed at an accredited college or university.