Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Career InformationDMS tech talking to child

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, heart, 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. Visit the U.S. Department of Labor's O*NET (29-2032.00 - Diagnostic Medical Sonographers) for additional career information.

Program Information

Each of the radiation sciences diagnostic medical sonography (DMS) degree tracks consist of two professional programs—DMS in general and vascular sonography or DMS in cardiac and vascular sonography. Each of these three-year programs is selective and competitive; acceptance is not guaranteed. Students must satisfy all UI admission requirements, complete all prerequisites, and be accepted into the diagnostic medical sonography professional program following an application and selection process.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography in General and Vascular Sonography

The diagnostic medical sonography program in general and vascular sonography provides a multispecialty education in obstetrical, abdominal, and vascular sonography (ultrasound imaging). Students learn about sonographic imaging and evaluation, hemodynamics and Doppler evaluation, sonography equipment, sectional anatomy, pathology, patient care, medical ethics, and quality assurance methods. They become proficient in using sonographic imaging equipment and in performing obstetrical and gynecological, abdominal, and vascular sonographic procedures, including invasive procedures, emergency exams, and 3-D imaging. They also participate in supervised clinical education. Elective courses are available in pediatric and breast sonography.

Upon completing the program, graduates are eligible to apply for the national certification exams in diagnostic medical sonography in the specialty areas of obstetrics and gynecology, abdomen, and vascular technology.

Students typically apply to this three-year program during their first year and begin it in fall of their sophomore year. Application deadline is January 15.  Eight students are accepted into this track each year.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography in Cardiac and Vascular Sonography

The diagnostic medical sonography program in cardiac and vascular sonography provides a multispecialty education in cardiac (echocardiography) and vascular sonography (ultrasound imaging). Students learn about sonographic imaging and evaluation, hemodynamics and Doppler evaluation, sonography equipment, sectional anatomy, pathology, patient care, medical ethics, and quality assurance methods. They become proficient in using sonographic imaging equipment and in performing cardiac and vascular sonographic procedures, including invasive procedures, emergency exams, and 3-D imaging. They also participate in supervised clinical education.

Upon completing the program, graduates are eligible to apply for the national certification exams in diagnostic medical sonography in the specialty areas of cardiac (echocardiography) and vascular technology.

Students typically apply to this three-year program during their first year and begin it in fall of their sophomore year. Application deadline is January 15.  Four students are accepted into this track each year.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Clinical Internships

The diagnostic medical sonography student will have clinical assignments in many different areas of UI Hospitals and Clinics including the Departments of Radiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Heart and Vascular Center. Students will have the opportunity to work on a variety of different types of modern sonographic equipment. The student's clinical experiences will include routine imaging, high risk obstetrics and gynecology, pediatric and neonatal exams, transplant patients, invasive procedures, 3D imaging and other specialized imaging. Rotations to other clinical sites provide a variety of additional clinical experiences.

Accreditation

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS) (www.jrcdms.org). (CAAHEP, 25400 US Highway 19 N, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763; (727) 210-2350)


Links of Interest

Admission/Degree Requirements (click here for printer-friendly version)

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Admitted Candidate Information

DMS General Catalog

Bureau of Labor Statistics Outlook

Mission, Goals & Quality


Program Faculty

Stephanie EllingsonStephanie Ellingson, MS, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, RT(R)
Program Director
200 Hawkins Drive | Radiology, C725GH
(319) 356-4871
stephanie-ellingson@uiowa.edu

 

 

 

Deborah TroyerDeborah Troyer, BS, RDMS, RVT, RT(R)
Radiation Sciences Educator
(319) 356-7732  
deborah-troyer@uiowa.edu
 

 

 

 

Todd WoodsK. Todd Woods, BSDMS, RDMS, RVT, RT(R)
Radiation Sciences Educator
(319) 356-7734  
kenneth-woods@uiowa.edu
 

 

 

Mary HuinkerMary Huinker
Administrative Services Coordinator, BSRS DMS & RT degree tracks
200 Hawkins Drive | Radiology, C725 GH
Iowa City, Iowa 52242
(319) 356-3861
mary-huinker@uiowa.edu