Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

THE PROFESSION:
Diagnostic Medical Sonography involves the use of high frequency sound waves to image most structures within the human body. A special device, known as a transducer, is placed in contact with the patient's skin. The transducer produces pulses of ultrasound which are sent into the body. The high frequency sound waves are then reflected off of various tissues or organs and travel back to the transducer to produce an image of specific anatomy. Physicians can than evaluate the images to make a medical diagnosis.

The procedure is commonly known as a sonogram or ultrasound examination and can be used to examine many parts of the body such as the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, uterus, heart, fetus, blood vessels, and breast. There are various specialties within Diagnostic Medical Sonography to include: abdomen and superficial structures, obstetrics/gynecology, breast, neurosonography, ophthalmology, musculoskeletal, vascular, adult echocardiography and pediatric echocardiography.

The highly skilled professional who performs the ultrasound examination is known as a diagnostic medical sonographer. This professional is a key member of the health care team and provides individualized care to a variety of patients using high technology instrumentation to create and interpret images of internal organs, tissues, and blood flow.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES:
Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a rapidly expanding health care profession and the need for sonographers continues. The number of diagnostic medical sonography procedures continues to increase. The equipment manufacturers continue to rapidly develop new technologies. Growth is projected to continue and graduates have opportunities for employment in: hospital ultrasound departments, clinics, physicians' private offices, mobile services, management and administration, sales and product development with equipment manufacturers, application/education specialist, marketing, education and research.

Students seriously considering the program are strongly encouraged to arrange a visit to an ultrasound department. We recommend that you spend several hours observing the activities of the department. This is to ensure you are better informed of the responsibilities you will gradually assume during the academic and clinical courses while at FHSU and eventually within the profession.

CURRICULUM:
The Department of Allied Health has expanded its course offerings with the addition of a dedicated ultrasound curriculum in the Medical Diagnostic Imaging Program. The dedicated ultrasound tract encompasses a 21-month sequenced curriculum of full-time study designed to prepare entry-level sonographers to meet the community's need for qualified and competent sonographers. The curriculum will prepare students to master sonography concepts and techniques through an integration of sequenced didactic and clinical components. Students first learn concepts and techniques in the classroom. In addition, students have the opportunity to apply what they learn in the corresponding laboratory sessions prior to placement of the assigned clinical experience. Once students demonstrate competence in simulated procedures, students will spend 12 months performing ultrasound procedures at one of the clinical affiliates under the supervision of one or more registered sonographers. A significant component of the ultrasound tract is the extensive clinical experience. Students will be exposed to a large volume and variation of examinations to obtain the skills necessary to perform in a specific ultrasound specialty.

Students will have the opportunity to obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Diagnostic Imaging degree with emphasis in ultrasound or an award of certificate upon completion. Furthermore, upon successful completion of the required curriculum, they would be eligible for registry examination in general physics and instrumentation, abdomen and superficial structures, obstetrics and gynecology, vascular physics and instrumentation and vascular technology.

FACILITIES
The Department of Allied Health is located at 129 Cunningham Hall on the FHSU campus. Students will complete most lecture courses in classrooms that are fully mediated. In addition, an ultrasound laboratory is also available and equipped with six ultrasound machines capable of imaging and recording sonographic examinations. Students learn the principles and practices of ultrasound examinations in the classroom and then apply those to the laboratory setting. Once students complete requirements of the on-campus didactic and laboratory courses, they will apply the knowledge at the clinical setting. At the various clinical facilities, students will perform patient examinations under the direct supervision of qualified staff.

The detailed sequenced curriculum begins each Fall semester:
Semester I - Fall  
Diagnostic Medical Sonography I 1 cr
Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation I 2 cr
Abdominal Ultrasound Procedures I 2 cr
Obstetric/Gynecology Ultrasound Procedures I 2 cr
General Ultrasound Procedures Laboratory 2 cr
Vascular Ultrasound Procedures I 2 cr
Vascular Ultrasound Procedures I Laboratory 2 cr
  13 cr
Semester II - Spring  
Diagnostic Medical Sonography II 1 cr
Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation II 2 cr
Abdominal Ultrasound Procedures II 2 cr
Obstetric/Gynecology Ultrasound Procedures II 2 cr
General Ultrasound Procedures Laboratory II 2 cr
Vascular Ultrasound Procedures II 2 cr
Vascular Ultrasound Procedures II Laboratory 2 cr
  13 cr
Semester III - Summer  
DMS Clinical Experience I 4 cr
Clinical Sonography I      2 cr
  6 cr
Semester IV - Fall  
DMS Clinical Experience II 6 cr
Clinical Sonography II 2 cr
Ultrasound Imaging of Superficial Structures 1 cr
Neurosonography 1 cr
Ultrasound Imaging of the Breast 2 cr
  12 cr
Semester V - Spring  
DMS Clinical Experience III 6 cr
Clinical Sonography III 2 cr
Advanced Ultrasound Seminar 3 cr
  11 cr
Total Credits  
Didactic 33 cr
Clinical Experience 22 cr
  55 cr

PROGRAM ACCREDITATION:
Fort Hays State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

GENERAL ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS TO THE COLLEGE: Applicants to the Medical Diagnostic Imaging Program's Diagnostic Medical Sonography component must meet the general admission requirements to Fort Hays State University. Students may contact the admission office for an application or can apply online.

ADMISSION AND APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:
Students applying for admission to the Medical Diagnostic Imaging Program with emphasis in ultrasound must comply with the following criteria:

Students must be a high school graduate or equivalent (GED) and qualify in at least one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a two year accredited program in Radiology Technology
  • Successful completion of a clinically related two year AMA recognized allied health training program
  • Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree or completion of 60 credit hours in a health care related field or with an emphasis in science/math

All candidates must successfully complete the prerequisite courses with a minimum of a 'C' or better and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. The prerequisite courses are:

  • Human Biology and Lab or equivalent
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology and Lab or equivalent
  • College Algebra
  • Physical Science or one semester of college Physics or equivalent
  • Medical Terminology
  • Introduction to Computer Information Systems or equivalent
  • English Composition I
  • English Composition II
  • Introduction to Oral Communication

APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS:
Consideration for admission to the Medical Diagnostic Imaging Program's dedicated ultrasound tract is an application process. This application process requires the student meet the prior criteria, but meeting the criteria does not guarantee admission. In addition, the student must complete and submit an application packet by April 1 of each year. It is anticipated that the number of qualified applicants will exceed the number of positions in the program. Students are advised that not all qualified applicants are admitted to the program.

Acceptance into the ultrasound tract is through a selection process. Following the April 1 application deadline, the applicants with complete application files will be reviewed. The 25 most qualified applicants will be invited to campus to interview with the Program Selection Committee in May. Applicants who do not receive an interview may reapply the following year and must comply with the application process.

The Program Selection Committee is comprised of FHSU faculty and affiliate clinicians. All students will be considered for clinical placement at any of the current affiliate clinical facilities at the time of the interview process. Prior to the interview, the student will be asked to prioritize their preferences of available clinical sites for their assigned clinical placement. The decision of the committee is based upon information provided in the student’s application. The record of academic achievement, nature of experiences within the medical field, knowledge of diagnostic ultrasound, letters of recommendation, and perceived communications skills, motivation and maturity will all be considered.

Student acceptance letters will be mailed in May. A student who receives an acceptance letter will be required to return a confirmation within a specific time frame to secure their space in the class. Failure to return the confirmation by the specified date will result in forfeiture of the student's space in the class.

Upon selection to the Medical Diagnostic Imaging Program with emphasis in ultrasound, all students must be certified in CPR prior to placement in the clinical facility. In addition, students must complete a background check through a specified company, provide proof of vaccinations and complete a physical examination by a medical doctor.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:
The application deadline for the diagnostic medical sonography dedicated tract is April 1. The completed application, official transcripts from colleges where any previous or current coursework was completed, letters of reference, the applicant's personal statement, and a $25 non-refundable application fee must be received by the deadline for consideration. Incomplete application files will not be considered.

CLASS CAPACITY:
Through the application and selection process, approximately 12 students will begin the curriculum each fall semester. The number of students selected will be subject to available clinical facilities and the number of qualified applicants.

INQUIRIES:
If would like to learn more about a career in Diagnostic Medical Sonography or have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the Allied Health Department. The faculty invite you to visit the FHSU campus and meet the faculty within the program.

FHSU Allied Health Department
Cunningham Hall 129
600 Park Street
Hays, KS 67601
(785) 628-5678
bhooping@fhsu.edu

Download the PDF file: Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Information Packet