2019-2020 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
    Feb 28, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate

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College of Health Sciences and Education

Department Chair, Sheryl E Goss, MS, RT (R) (S), RDMS, RDCS, RVT, RVS, FSDMS


Sheryl Goss, Assistant Professor of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, AAS, BS, MS College Misericordia
Karen Klimas, Assistant Professor of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, BS College Misericordia; MS Misericordia University

The diagnostic medical sonography program is an 18-month certificate program divided into five sessions, inclusive of didactic, laboratory, and clinical education components. The purpose of this program is to prepare students to become highly qualified individuals able to perform diagnostic patient services using ultrasound. The program is designed to prepare students to perform as competent sonographers in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and physicians’ offices. This specialized, non-invasive technique, utilizes the generation of high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) together with digitized instrumentation to project information on display monitors generating diagnostic images of internal organs and other structures to evaluate the absence or presence of pathology. The diagnostic medical sonographer provides patient services using medical sonographic equipment under the supervision of a physician specialist in radiology, gynecology, obstetrics, pediatrics, vascular surgery, cardiology, or ophthalmology. The sonographer assists the physician in gathering pertinent patient history as well as the anatomical, physiological, and pathological sonographic data and images necessary to diagnose an increasing variety of conditions and diseases.

The diagnostic medical sonography program is one that, upon successful completion, provides the knowledge and skills to qualify participants as sonographers. Individuals are educated to perform examinations in the following areas: obstetrical, gynecological, abdominal, small parts, and interventional sonography. Vascular sonography education and clinical experience is provided to assist the graduate to possess the ability to perform the most commonly performed vascular sonographic examinations.

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) 25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763 upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS).

Upon successful completion of the diagnostic medical sonography program, students are eligible to apply for a national certification examination, thus enabling them to achieve professional status and employment in the field.

Graduates of the certificate program can continue to pursue their education through the university’s Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography major or take the advanced sonography courses within the major to prepare for additional national certification examinations.

Program Goals and Student Outcomes

The goals of the DMS certificate program are designed to align with programmatic accreditation standards and the mission of the Department and the University.

  1. To prepare competent entry level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.
    • Cognitive domain
      1. Demonstrate knowledge of anatomical structures and sonographic appearances.
      2. Differentiate normal from abnormal sonographic findings through knowledge of physiology and pathophysiology.
      3. Apply clinical history to sonographic examination and findings
      4. Demonstrate application of ultrasound physics and instrumentation to optimize sonographic images
      5. Utilize research to enhance learning
    • Psychomotor domain
      1. Possess the technical skills to produce accurate sonographic images
      2. Evaluate images for quality
      3. Synthesize sonographic findings and tailor examination to provide all necessary information to interpreting physician
      4. Develop competency to independently perform sonographic examinations in the general concentration
    • Affective Domain
      1. Communicate in a holistic manner to provide patient comfort and respect for cultural differences
      2. Demonstrate ability to work independently as well as a team member
      3. Demonstrate professional behavior to all through integrity, ethical decision making, and communication.
      4. Demonstrate written and oral communication to educate self and others
  2. Apply knowledge and skills to succeed on national credential examinations
    1. Score a 74% or higher on the program’s mock registry examinations
    2. Succeed the first time in the three ARDMS certification examinations or ARRT Sonography examination.
  3. Participate in activities to prepare for lifelong learning
    1. Complete and earn five continuing medical education credits
    2. Volunteer for a University or community event

The target populations that may be compatible with this program include the following:

  1. Individuals interested in seeking a career in the healthcare field.
  2. Individuals with previous allied health education expressing a desire for a career change.
  3. Individuals enrolled or completed a medical imaging degree program

Admission Criteria:

To be considered for entrance into the sonography certificate program, applicants must meet one of the following three pathways:

  1. Graduate of an accredited allied health program (minimum of two years) and completion of prerequisites listed in Pathway #3 with a minimum grade of “C”, or
  2. Graduate of a bachelor degree program, and completion of prerequisites listed in Pathway #3 with a minimum grade of “C”, or
  3. Completion of prerequisites at the university or post secondary level with a “C” or higher to include the following:
    Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II
    College Algebra or Statistics (Statistics is preferred)
    English (Oral or written communication)
    All courses completed on the post secondary level will be evaluated on an individual basis for determination of acceptance.
  4. Minimum GPA of 2.75
  5. Standard university admission requirements.
  6. Two letters of recommendation.
  7. Attendance at a Program Information Session.
  8. Completion of interview questions provided to the applicant.

It is recommended applications be submitted prior to November 15 of the year prior to which the student desires to be considered for entrance the following August. Each December, all applicants will receive information regarding their required attendance at one of the Program Information Session being offered in January and receive a set of interview questions to be completed prior to and submitted during their attendance at the session. Decisions are made in late March. Applications are accepted after December 15 on a clinical availability basis.

Electronic communication among faculty, staff and students occurs frequently throughout the program as well as online evaluation methods required within the individual courses. Students are required to possess basic computer skills and frequent access to a computer.

Retention Criteria

  1. Minimum grade of C- in all DMS coded courses
  2. Minimum overall GPA of 2.5 in DMS certificate courses
  3. Compliance with the professional Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Code of Ethics and the program’s policies and procedures.

Special Expenses

In addition to tuition and fees, expenses for the diagnostic medical sonography may include CPR certification and re-certification, background checks, health examination fees, immunization fees, drug screening, malpractice liability insurance, and uniforms.

A program fee will be charged to the student’s account for the first fall semester for cost of name badge, HIPAA education, program handbook, electronic clinical records program, professional liability insurance and lab fees.

Fees for national certification exams are paid by the student to the respective agency, such as American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography just prior to completion of program.

Course Sequence

Class of 2019 and beyond

Session I (September-December)

Total Credits 9

Session II (January-May)

Total Credits 11

Total Credits 10

Total Credits 12

Session V (January-March)

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