Module Highlights

Exploring Ultrasound Image Elements

Preparing students to analyze and describe diagnostic sonography images.

Modules Overview

All Modules are seven weeks in length.

Each week emphasizes a different topic related to the important ultrasound elements that will allow students to be proficient in performing diagnostic ultrasound examinations by the time they graduate.

The anatomy, physiology, signs and symptoms, incidences, associated conditions, and the ultrasound appearances of normal and abnormal organs and tissue structures are thoroughly discussed.

Modules are taught in online virtual classrooms by certified sonographer instructors who become mentors during and after program completion.

Lectures prepare students to complete weekly self-managed assignments and assessments guided by our skilled instructors. Students learn advanced topics that will make them competitive in the field.

Goal: To prepare students to take the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) examinations in general, vascular, midwife sonography, and musculoskeletal ultrasound practices in

ARDMSCertification

In order for students to become certified by the ARDMS they must apply and pass the Sonography principles and instrumentation (SPI) examination + 1 specialty examination. There are fees associated with taking these examinations. If a student chooses to take and pass the vascular examination as the specialty examination they will gain the credentials, RVT. If a student chooses to take and pass the musculoskeletal examination as the specialty examination they will gain the credentials, RMSK. If a student chooses to take and pass general ultrasound examinations as the specialty examination they will gain the credentials, RDMS. It is highly recommended that sonographers be RDMS, RVT, RMSK certified for the best marketability possible. Upon receiving credentials from the ARDMS, there will be CME (continuing medical education) and licensing fee requirements to maintain certification.

*The ARDMS Midwife Sonography Examination is administered twice in a calendar year and must be applied for during open application dates. Midwife students will fast-track through 2 modules, DS 101 and DS 300, and the scanning studio lab. In conjunction to the diploma obtained from successful completion of our program, midwives will need to take an additional 12 CME credits related to Obstetrics and Gynecology in diagnostic ultrasound.


Coursework Overview

Acoustic Physics

Acoustic Physics

Summary

DS 101

*6 Credit Hours

The essential instrumentation necessary for a sonography career is examined. The physics of sound waves entering the body for diagnostic imaging purposes is introduced. Safety, knobology, and basic machine components that make diagnostic ultrasound possible are discussed. Students learn how to eliminate unwanted artifacts in images and keep informative artifacts for the best diagnosis possible.

Topics

  • Introduction to Sound Waves
  • Ultrasound Fundamental Properties
  • Transducers Operation
  • Ultrasound Machine Components and Archiving Equipment
  • Doppler Principles
  • Procedures and Safety
  • Patient Care

Imagine  

As you perform ultrasound examinations you will find that your patients have many anatomical and physiological differences. Age, size, and biological systems vary. Therefore, you will need to learn how to adjust the ultrasound machine components to generate the best images possible. Your knowledge of acoustic physics and instrumentation is the foundation for diagnostic ultrasound imaging. This course prepares you to overcome obstacles that arise during an exam.

*3 credit hours for midwife sonography track.


Abdomen and Small Parts

Abdomen and Small Parts

Summary

DS 200

6 Credit Hours

Students are introduced to the compartments and cavities of the abdomen, associated organs, and corresponding blood vessels. Students will learn to recognize normal and abnormal anatomy and blood flow using gray-scale imaging and acoustic Doppler components where and when appropriate. Small parts that are imaged with ultrasound include thyroid, breast, superficial structures, musculoskeletal structures, and scrotum and its contents. Students gain an advanced understanding of relationships of systems and how they appear on diagnostic imaging displays. Students learn about the usefulness of diagnostic ultrasound in musculoskeletal anatomy.

Topics

  • Abdominal Vasculature
  • Abdominal Wall
  • Peritoneum
  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Biliary System
  • Urinary System
  • Pancreas
  • Retroperitoneum
  • Gastrointestinal Track
  • Thyroid
  • Scrotum and Contents
  • Breast
  • Musculoskeletal

Imagine  

The setting for an abdominal and/or small parts ultrasound can be in the ultrasound department exam room, on a portable in a patient’s room, or in a different department. If ordered as a stat immediate attention is necessary. The exam is performed before other routine scheduled and walk-in patients. You perform the ordered exam and you are the point-of-care for the duration of the exam. Usually, the patient is transported to an ultrasound room. You take a patient history pertinent to the signs and symptoms related to the diagnosis listed on the patient’s exam order written by his/her physician. Once you are finished exploring the area of interest and the images are obtained following your department protocols, you will show the images to a radiologist or physician. Your images will be accompanied by a personal report you fill out to outline the details you have imaged.


Obstetrics and Gynecology

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Summary

DS 300

*6 Credit Hours

This is an intensive look at the female reproductive process and anatomy. The pregnant and non-pregnant uterus, fetal anatomy in 1st trimester to 3rd trimester, and postpartum conditions are discussed. Students will be introduced to the ultrasound appearances of normal and abnormal fetal anatomy and anomalies from conception to birth. The ultrasound appearances and ultrasound imaging techniques of post-partum female reproductive organs are introduced.

Topics

  • Female Pelvic Anatomy
  • Uterus Post Partum
  • Ovaries, Adnexal Region
  • 1st Trimester
  • 2nd Trimester
  • 3rd Trimester
  • Amniotic Fluid and Special Procedures

Imagine  

As a family gathers around the ultrasound monitor to see the new addition to their family, you are concentrating and determining if everything is okay with mom and baby. Their emotions are high and you are calm and collected. You manipulate the machine’s functional knobs to enhance the image quality while you freeze and record several images set by your department’s protocol, even if the baby is moving around. You check all of the baby’s anatomy, the placenta, and the umbilical cord. You measure the amniotic fluid volume and check all of mom’s visible reproductive parts. When appropriate you take some images for the family to take home and show to all their loved ones.

*3 credit hours for midwife track.


Vasculature

Vasculature

Summary

DS 400

6 Credit Hours

The human circulatory system is a vast network of arteries and veins that course through cavities and organs bringing oxygenated blood to structures and taking non-oxygenated blood back to the lungs. A Sonographer’s role encompasses imaging vascular structures throughout the body. These exams are dynamic and the use of Doppler becomes a useful too. The instrumentation and principles of the physics behind moving structures and sound waves is important. Students are introduced to Doppler ultrasound techniques and protocols concerning both veins and arteries. Various technology and equipment associated with analyzing these structures are introduced. Normal and abnormal ultrasound and Doppler appearance are thoroughly considered.

Topics

  • Abdominal Doppler
  • Venous
  • Carotid
  • Intracranial
  • Arterial I
  • Arterial II
  • Fetal Circulation

Imagine  

Your patient has recently experienced trauma and it’s been a few weeks since the incident. They have been having moderate to severe pain in their leg ever since and the pain is getting worse; now swollen and red. Your patient’s physician suspects a blood clot and if you find a critical clot the patient will most likely be admitted to the hospital. You scan as delicately as possible to keep discomfort down to a minimum while you analyze the patient’s leg using duplex imaging to analyze the blood flow in deep and superficial veins. You take your images to the Radiologist for a preliminary diagnosis so your patient's physician can follow-up with the patient immediately. You patient and their family thank you for taking the time to get a wheelchair so they didn’t have to walk back and forth from the waiting room.


Neonatology and Pediatric Sonography

Neonatology and Pediatrics

Summary

DS 500

6 Credit Hours

Anatomical variations are present during the first years of development and a sonographer must be knowledgeable about the difference in size and ultrasound appearance of organs and structures. Students are introduced to normal and abnormal anatomy and anomalies concerning structures imaged under ultrasound. An introduction in how to treat neonatal and pediatric patients during an exam is discussed.

Topics

  • Encephalography
  • Hips
  • Spine
  • Pediatric Abdomen
  • Pediatric Pelvis
  • Pylorus
  • Pediatric Specialty

Imagine  

Your patient is very nervous, even though his family mom is with him. The room appears big and scary to your young patient because you are an unfamiliar person. You greet your patient with a big smile and ask them if they need help getting on the exam table. His chin starts to quiver and tears start to form because he is scared. You show him the gel you will be using and explain that it won’t hurt and you ask him if he would like to feel the gel on his finger. He nods in approval and discovers that the gel doesn't hurt. Then you tell him that he gets to see himself on “TV” and they look at the monitor screen. You change your gray-scale image to a different hue and turn on the Doppler to make a captivating image on the screen. He starts to calm and realize that this examination isn't so scary after all. The exam goes by quickly for him because you continued to talk to him throughout the procedure and he gets to pick from your selection of stickers. Great Job!


Program Proficiency Plan

There is a lot of information to understand and retain in order for a student to grow into a competent and confident diagnostic ultrasound technologist. We respect that it can take different individuals different lengths of time to master the craft of diagnostic ultrasound. Students need to successfully perform diagnostic ultrasound examinations using the best ergonomics, scanning techniques, and approach patients with the appropriate patient-care for age and cultural backgrounds before they begin an externship. Therefore, we give the students the opportunity to repeat modules at no additional expense.

Scanning practicums, taught in our Scanning Studio, accompany coursework modules for comprehensive training in performing diagnostic ultrasound examinations.



Career Opportunities for Graduates

  • Full-Time Hospital Setting
  • Part-Time Hospital Setting
  • PRN (as needed) Hospital Setting
  • Full-Time Imaging Center
  • Part-Time Imaging Center
  • PRN (as needed) Imaging Center
  • On-Call, Hospital Setting or Imaging Center
  • Full-Time Doctors Office; Specialty practices
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology Office
    • Internal Medicine Office
    • Cardiovascular Practices
    • Vein Labs
    • Endocrinology Practices
    • Urology Practices
    • Pediatric Practices
    • Neonatal/Infant Practices
  • Part-time Doctors office
  • Midwife Sonography Lab
  • Mobile Ultrasound Lab
  • Traveling Assignments
    • Full-Time
    • Part-Time
    • Permanent
    • Temporary (8-13 weeks)

Options

Graduates have many options after graduation. After students complete an ultrasound program they will have decided which focus they enjoyed the most. Often times graduates will choose the career setting of their choice within general or vascular ultrasound practices.