2021-2022 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog
Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Program Director: Tatyana Beaves, MD, RDMS, RDCS
Clinical Coordinator/Instructor: Miriam, Teft M.B.A., RDMS, RVT
Diagnostic medical sonography is a medical procedure that uses an ultrasound to produce visual images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body through high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) that create dynamic images. A diagnostic medical sonographer is a highly skilled professional who uses specialized equipment to create sonograms or ultrasound scans of structures inside the human body and collaboratively works with radiologists or other specialized physicians verbally and in writing to assist effectively toward a medical diagnosis.
Grand Valley offers a program to students who wish to complete a bachelor's degree in diagnostic medical sonography that is specific for clinical practice in abdominal and obstetrics-gynecology. Vascular sonography and breast sonography are additional courses that are taken concurrently to broaden the knowledge and experiences and prepare students for the variety of examinations in the field of diagnostic medical sonography.
Skills Required for Diagnostic Medical Sonography - General
- Comprehensive understanding of anatomy and physiology
- Effective communication and interpersonal skills with patients and other health care professionals
- Critical thinking
- Time management
- Ability to master new fine-motor-based physical skills
- Compassion and effective interaction with the sick or injured
Sonography is a dynamic profession that has grown significantly over the past 20 years. With rapidly developing new technologies and increased use of diagnostic ultrasound procedures, growth is projected to continue in the future with employment opportunities for qualified sonographers in both urban and rural areas nationwide. Sonographers and vascular technologists can choose to work in clinics, hospitals, private practice physician offices, public health facilities, laboratories, and other medical settings performing examinations in their areas of specialization. Career advancement opportunities exist in education, administration, research, and in commercial companies as education/application specialists, sales representatives, technical advisors, etc.
Students will study anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology of scanned organ systems (for example: liver, gallbladder spleen, breast thyroid, female reproductive tract), recognize the sonographic patterns of the organs, learn protocols for a logical and thorough survey of the organs, and provide accurate and technical findings to the interpreting physician. Students receive didactic, laboratory, and clinical experiences in both existing and emerging diagnostic medical sonography practices in the university's state-of-the-art laboratories and through a clinical education system that requires students to attend full days of clinical practice under the supervision of registered sonographers at clinical education sites located up to three hours from GVSU (although most clinical assignments are within one hour from campus). Students must have reliable transportation available for their clinical rotations.
This diagnostic medical sonography program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in association with the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS). The program adheres to the JRCDMS standards. Individuals and students have the right to notify the JRCDMS if they believe the university is not adhering to those standards. The JRC-DMS is at 6021 University Boulevard, Suite 500, Ellicott City, MD 21043. Phone: (443)-973-3251. Fax (866)-738-3444. Web: jrcdms.org.
Students working toward a B.S. degree in diagnostic medical sonography from GVSU become eligible for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) examinations specific to the specialties. Eligibility for ARDMS examinations is achieved upon completion of 1,680 contact hours (which occurs in November or December of the senior year before graduation the following April). Granting of the baccalaureate is not contingent upon passing ARDMS examinations. Students must complete all coursework for the baccalaureate degree for the ARDMS certifications awarded to hold under the requirements of prerequisites 3B application for taking the ARDMS certification examination(s). Failure to complete the baccalaureate degree will be reported by the university and will result in removal of the certification(s) by the ARDMS.
Students should be aware that prior to the beginning of their clinical courses, they must complete comprehensive health compliance obligations including but not limited to a criminal background check, fingerprinting, and drug screening. It is the responsibility of the student to comply. If there is an illegal activity in the background check/fingerprinting, or if there is evidence of one or more prohibited substances in the drug test, the clinical sites have the right to refuse a student's placement, a factor which may negatively impact a student's ability to progress in the diagnostic medical sonography program.
In addition, individuals who have been charged with or convicted of a crime may not be eligible for national certification by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Students to whom this may apply are strongly advised to work with the ARDMS for preapplication review of eligibility for certification from their website at ardms.org. Contact the ARDMS by phone at (301) 738-8401 or (800) 541-9754 or by fax at (301) 738-0312.
Admission to the diagnostic medical sonography program is a competitive process that requires a secondary application. Please contact the College of Health Professions for the secondary application package, which can also be found at gvsu.edu/dms. Applications are due February 1 of the year the student starts the program (August). Applicants are invited to apply based on the following criteria:
40 percent: Academic grade point average from completed prerequisite courses.
- AHS 100 - Medical Terminology (3 credits)
- BMS 250 - Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits)
- BMS 251 - Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits)
- MTH 122 - College Algebra (3 credits)
- PHY 220 - General Physics I (5 credits)
- PSY 101 - Introductory Psychology (3 credits)
- SOC 105 - Social Problems (3 credits)
- STA 215 - Introductory Applied Statistics (3 credits)
One research methods course:
- AHS 301 - Introduction to Health Care Research (3 credits) (recommended)
- BMS 301 - Introduction to Research in the Biomedical Sciences (3 credits)
- PSY 300 - Research Methods in Psychology (3 credits) *
*Fulfills one Supplemental Writing Skills course
10 percent: Academic grade point average from the most recent 45 credit hours completed.
30 percent: Interview and/or writing assessment completed on-site at the College of Health Professions.
5 percent: Completion of 16 hours of documented work or volunteer time in a health field.
5 percent: Two letters of recommendation on university forms.
10 percent: Educational, leadership, scholarly, or work experience and/or volunteer activities are valued and may impact selection decisions.
The following program is available: