Curriculum

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The Ascension Sonography Program curriculum is carefully designed to facilitate student learning as they progress through the program. In the first year of the program, emphasis is on anatomy & physiology, patient care, fundamentals of ultrasound and learning to perform sonographic procedures while the second year of the program focuses on technical and theoretical aspects of medical imaging, pathology and applying knowledge of sonographic principles and instrumentation. The program curriculum adheres to the professional curriculum from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (www.ARDMS.org) and meets the required  content of the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (www.ARDMS.org) certifying exams.

The Sonography Program course credits and descriptions by semester are below. A link to an at-a-glance of the program curriculum is below.

Sonography Program Curriculum

General Education (Transferred In)

COURSE CREDITS
Algebra, Statistics or Higher Math 3.0 credits
General Physics or Radiographic Physics 3.0 credits
Communication Skills 3.0 credits
Human Anatomy and Physiology 5.0 credits
Medical Terminology 1.0 credits

Junior Year: Semester I (Summer)

  • Intro to DMS (DMS 111): 1.5 Credits
    This course provides the diagnostic medical sonography student with an orientation of the program, introduces the student to the sonographic equipment, sonographic anatomy and sonographic scanning so the student can transition into the clinical site with basic knowledge of a sonographer and their expectations. This course will give the students knowledge of the protocols being utilized in their clinical settings. The students will have a very basic and limited understanding of normal anatomy, physiology, protocol, and scanning techniques with the more frequent exams seen in general and vascular sonography so the students can transition into their clinical site with a better understanding of sonography. This course contains educational objectives, learning activities and scan labs directed toward aiding the student in obtaining this goal.
  • Patient Care (DMS 112): 1.5 Credits
    This course provides the cardiac sonography student with the basic concepts of patient care including consideration for the physical and psychological needs of the patient. Some topics to be covered include: Safety and transport of a patient, infection control, isolation techniques, aseptic technique, handling acute situations, pharmacology, emergency recognition and response, and vital signs. This is a time for the students to develop their own patient care techniques while developing an understanding of body mechanics, patient assessment techniques, ethical, legal, and professional issues. This course contains educational objectives and learning activities directed toward aiding the student in obtaining this goal. 
  • Fundamentals of Ultrasound (DMS 113): 1.0 Credit
    This course is designed to provide the diagnostic medical sonography students an understanding of work related musculoskeletal injury, incidence of sonographer injuries, and prevention of such injuries by following proper ergonomic guidelines. This course contains educational objectives and learning activities directed toward aiding the student in utilizing proper ergonomics throughout their education as well as sustaining their career in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. This course will also provide the student with knowledge of ultrasound safety, including the ALARA principle and how to complete quality assurance assessments on the diagnostic ultrasound machines, and the importance of professional development within the field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
  • Clinical Observation (DMS 119): 3.0 Credits
    This course provides the diagnostic medical sonography student with an introduction to sonographic anatomy, sonographic scanning, and patient care. This course unit contains educational objectives and learning activities directed toward aiding the student in obtaining this goal.

Junior Year: Semester II (Fall)

  • General Sonography I (DMS 121): 4.5 Credits
    Upon completion of this course, the diagnostic medical sonography student will gain knowledge and understanding of the normal organ systems and vascular structures of the abdomen and superficial organs. The student will gain knowledge to recognize and identify the sonographic appearance of normal anatomic structures, including anatomic variants and normal Doppler patterns of the abdomen and superficial organs. This course unit contains educational objectives and learning activities directed toward aiding the student in obtaining this goal.
  • OBGYN Sonography I (DMS 122): 2.5 Credits
    This course is designed to provide the diagnostic medical sonography student with a thorough understanding of normal and abnormal female pelvic anatomy, pathology associated with the female pelvis, conception, embryonic development and sonographic technique and appearance of the aforementioned topics. This course contains educational objectives and learning activities directed toward aiding the student in obtaining this goal.
  • Vascular Technology I (DMS 123): 3.0 Credits
    This course is designed to provide the diagnostic medical sonography student with the knowledge of extremity venous and arterial systems to include anatomy, physiology and pathology of the aforemen tioned system. This course contains educational objectives and learning activities directed toward aiding the student in obtaining this goal.
  • Ultrasound Physics I (DMS124): 3.0 Credits
    This course allows the diagnostic medical sonography student to develop a fundamental knowledge of the physical and vascular principles that are used in the field of diagnostic medical sonography. This course unit contains educational objectives and learning activities directed toward aiding the student in obtaining this goal.
  • Clinical Practicum I (DMS 129): 6.5 Credits
    These courses provide the diagnostic medical sonography student with the clinical opportunity to develop their scanning techniques and patient care skills with the guidance of a staff sonographer.

Junior Year: Semester III (Spring)

  • General Sonography II (DMS 131): 4.0 Credits
    Upon completion of this course, the diagnostic medical sonography student will gain knowledge and understanding of the normal and abnormal organ systems and vascular structures of the abdomen and superficial organs. The student will gain knowledge to recognize, identify, and appropriately document the abnormal sonographic and Doppler patterns of disease processes, pathology, and pathophysiology of the abdomen and superficial structures. The student will learn how to modify the scanning protocol based on the sonographic findings and the differential diagnosis. The students will gain knowledge of the invasive procedures that are performed with ultrasound guidance. This course unit contains educational objectives and learning activities directed toward aiding the student in obtaining this goal.
  • OBGYN Sonography II (DMS 132): 2.0 Credits
    This course is designed to provide the diagnostic medical sonography student with a thorough understanding of, normal and abnormal fetal development, pathologies that can occur during fetal development and prognosis and treatment of such pathologies during pregnancy and after birth. This course contains educational objectives and learning activities directed toward aiding the student in obtaining this goal.
  • Vascular Technology II (DMS 133): 3.0 Credits
    This course is designed to provide the diagnostic medical sonography student with the knowledge of the abdominal vasculature system to include anatomy, physiology and pathology of the aforementioned system. This course contains educational objectives and learning activities directed toward aiding the student in obtaining this goal
  • Ultrasound Physics II (DMS 134): 3.0 Credits
    This course is a continuation of Ultrasound Physics I and allows the diagnostic medical sonography student to develop a fundamental knowledge of the physical and vascular principles that are used in the field of diagnostic medical sonography. This course unit contains educational objectives and learning activities directed toward aiding the student in obtaining this goal.
  • Clinical Practicum II (DMS 139): 6.5 Credits
    These courses provide the diagnostic medical sonography student with the clinical opportunity to develop their scanning techniques and patient care skills with the guidance of a staff sonographer.

Senior Year: Semester IV (Summer)

  • Clinical Practicum III (DMS 219): 6.5 Credits
    These courses provide the diagnostic medical sonography student with the clinical opportunity to develop their scanning techniques and patient care skills with the guidance of a staff sonographer.

Senior Year: Semester V (Fall)

  • General Sonography III (DMS 221): 1.5 Credits
    This course is designed to provide the diagnostic medical sonography students an understanding of normal and abnormal conditions associated with a pediatric patient, including normal and abnormal neurological development of neonatal head and spinal cord. This course will also give the students the knowledge of the ultrasound exams performed less often, such as MSK, GI Tract, abdominal wall and contrast imaging. This course contains educational objectives and learning activities directed toward aiding the student in obtaining this goal.
  • OBGYN Sonography III (DMS 222): 2 Credits
    This course is a continuation of OBGYN Sonography II. This course is designed to provide the diagnostic medical sonography student with a thorough understanding of pathologies that can occur during fetal development and prognosis and treatment of such pathologies during pregnancy and after birth as well as medical ethics associated with pathological processes. This course contains educational objectives and learning activities directed toward aiding the student in obtaining this goal.
  • Vascular Technology III (DMS 223): 3 Credits
    This course is designed to provide the diagnostic medical sonography student with the knowledge of the extracranial cerebrovascular and intracranial cerebrovascular systems to include anatomy, physiology and pathology of the aforementioned system. This course is also designed to provide an understanding of miscellaneous arterial and venous anatomic and pathological conditions related to the profession of sonography. This course contains educational objectives and learning activities directed toward aiding the student in obtaining this goal.
  • Clinical Practicum IV (DMS 229): 10 Credits
    These courses provide the diagnostic medical sonography student with the clinical opportunity to develop their scanning techniques and patient care skills with the guidance of a staff sonographer.

Senior Year: Semester VI (Spring)

  • Research on Case Studies (DMS 231): 1.5 Credits
    This course allows the diagnostic medical sonography student to develop professional awareness of the knowledge that can be gained, by doing follow-up work and research on interesting cases. This course unit contains educational objectives and learning activities directed toward aiding the student in obtaining this goal.
  • Registry Review (DMS 232): 2.5 Credits
    This course will review all subjects covered throughout the course of the program. The goal is to prepare diagnostic medical sonography students for taking the ARDMS registry examinations upon completion of the program.
  • Clinical Practicum V (DMS 239): 9.5 Credits  
    These courses provide the diagnostic medical sonography student with the clinical opportunity to develop their scanning techniques and patient care skills with the guidance of a staff sonographer.