Diagnostic Medical Sonography

DMS Program Outcomes

DMS Program Outcomes

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Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Diagnostic Medical Sonography, also called ultrasound technology is one of the fastest growing imaging modalities in the allied health field.  Sonographic examinations are normally performed within radiology departments in both hospitals and imaging clinics. Diagnostic Imaging is one many modalities similar to Radiology, CT Scans, MRI, and Nuclear Medicine yet Sonography uses sound waves to create the images.  Professionals who perform Sonographic examinations are called Sonographers, credentialed by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).

What Does a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Do?

A diagnostic medical sonographer is a highly-skilled professional who uses specialized equipment to create images of structures inside the human body that are used by physicians to make a medical diagnosis. The process involves placing a small device called a transducer against the patient's skin near the body area to be imaged. The transducer works similar to sonar because it can transmit sound and receive sound. The transducer sends a stream of high frequency sound waves into the body and echoes return from the internal structures.  Different structures in the body reflect sound waves very differently. These sounds are analyzed by the Sonographers who record images for the physicians diagnosis. 

Sonographers have extensive, direct patient contact that may include performing some invasive procedures. They must be able to interact compassionately and effectively with people who range from healthy to critically ill. For more information see the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers webpage at (

The Professional Responsibilities Include, But Are Not Limited, To

  • Obtaining, recording and reviewing an accurate patient history and supporting clinical data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results 
  • Performing diagnostic procedures and obtaining diagnostic images
  • Analyzing technical information and recording it for interpretation by a physician
  • Using independent judgment in recognizing the need to extend the scope of the procedure according to the diagnostic findings 
  • Providing an oral or written summary of the technical findings to the physician for medical diagnosis 
  • Providing quality patient care
  • Collaborating with physicians and other members of the health care team
  • Acting in a professional and ethical manner, demonstrating appropriate communication skills with patients and colleagues
  • Provide patient education related to medical ultrasound and promote principles of good health

Sonographers must also be knowledgeable about and limit the risk from possible exposure to blood and body fluids. Many Sonographers also assist in electronic and clerical scheduling, record keeping, and computerized image archiving. Sonographers may also have managerial or supervisory responsibilities. (

What Are Some of the Technical Standards?

Sonographers must be able to:

  • Lift more than 50 pounds routinely 
  • Push and pull routinely
  • Bend and stoop routinely 
  • Have full use of both hands, wrists and shoulders 
  • Distinguish audible sounds 
  • Adequately view sonograms, including color distinctions 
  • Work standing on their feet 80% of the time 
  • Interact compassionately and effectively with the sick or injured 
  • Assist patients on and off examining tables 
  • Communicate effectively with patients and other health care professionals 
  • Organize and accurately perform the individual steps in a sonographic procedure in the proper sequence. (

What Are the Career Opportunities?

Sonography is a dynamic profession that has grown significantly over the past 20 years. With rapidly developing new technologies and increased use of diagnostic ultrasound procedures, growth is projected to continue in the future with employment opportunities for qualified Sonographers in both urban and rural areas nationwide. Sonographers and vascular technologists can choose to work in clinics, hospitals, private practice physician offices, public health facilities, laboratories, and other medical settings performing examinations in their areas of specialization. Career advancement opportunities exist in education, administration, research, and in commercial companies as education/application specialists, sales representatives, technical advisors, etc. (

For application to the 2019 DMS program:  See Application Process in January 2019.