2017-2018 Course Catalog & Student Handbook 
    May 11, 2021  
2017-2018 Course Catalog & Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Diagnostic Medical Sonography AAS Program Fact Sheet

What is Diagnostic Medical Sonography?

Diagnostic medical sonography uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce visual images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body.  Sonographers provide direct patient care by performing diagnostic tests, and may work in hospitals, private doctor’s offices, specialty clinics, or laboratories.  Students in our DMS program will sit for the ARDMS Sonographic Principles and Instrumentation exam.  Just prior to graduation, DMS program students will take the ARDMS registry specialty examinations in Abdomen and OB/GYN.  For examination details visit www.ARDMS.org.  Learn more about the career at www.sdms.org. GTC’s sonography program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.CAAHEP.org) upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS).

Length of Program

5 semesters (not including prerequisite courses); Program courses must be taken in sequence within the prescribed time frame.

Semester Program Begins

Fall Semester; Full time; Day classes only

General Admission Application Process
  1. Apply to Gwinnett Technical College at GwinnettTech.edu, submit all transcripts from high school and previous college work, and take the ACCUPLACER test, if required. Students must be accepted into Gwinnett Tech prior to applying to a program of study.
  2. Applicants are initially accepted into the Interdisciplinary Studies degree program while completing the required prerequisite courses.
Program Application Process
  1. All applicants are required to submit a program packet. The forms are available online at http://www.gwinnetttech.edu/enrollment/forms-documents/.
  2. For Fall semester admission, the program application, resume, ATI TEAS exam and all prerequisites must be completed by May 20.
Prerequisite Courses All of the following must be taken prior to applying to the program:
Additional Required Courses All of the following:
  One of the following:

*Courses may not be more than 5 years old at time of program application.
**Courses may not be more than 10 years old at time of program application.

Program Deadlines

For Fall semester admission, application file, volunteer hours and prerequisites must be completed by May 20.
Competitive Admissions
  1. Candidates are scored and ranked based on: prerequisite courses GPA on all attempts, TEAS exam, optional volunteer patient hours in the DMS pab, Health Essay, Resume and select ALHS courses.
  2. To schedule volunteer lab hours, please email TThurmond@GwinnettTech.edu. Volunteer points will be good for two application periods and must be completed by application deadline. If the student is not selected during that time frame, volunteer hours must be repeated.
Program Costs and Requirements

In addition to tuition and lab fees, students will need uniform scrubs, shoes, books, liability insurance, criminal background check and drug screen (completed when admitted into the program); immunizations for hospital clinical; and exam fees for certification. More costs may be added based on technology advances and clinical requirements.

For more information: Tavia Thurmond, program support specialist for Health Information Systems
TThurmond@GwinnettTech.edu or 678-226-6404 or Building 200, Room 213, of the Lawrenceville campus

Information Sessions
Everyone is welcome to attend our Information Session held on the 1st Saturday of each month* at 9 a.m.
Lawrenceville Campus: First Saturday of each month* at 9 a.m., in Building 200, Room 104
*There will not be an Information Session in January

Quick Facts
2016 Median pay          $69,650 per year/ $33.48 per hour
Entry level education          Associate degree
Number of jobs, 2015          67,300
Job growth 2012-2020          23% (much faster than average)
Employment change 2016 - 2026          +15,600 = 82,900

Sonographers use special equipment to direct high frequency sound waves into areas of the patient’s body. Sonographers operate the equipment, which collects reflected echoes and forms an image that may be videotaped, transmitted, or photographed for interpretation and diagnosis by a physician. Viewing the screen during the scan, sonographers look for subtle visual cues that contrast healthy areas with unhealthy ones. They decide whether the images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes and select which ones to store and show to the physician. In addition to working directly with patients, diagnostic medical sonographers keep patient records and adjust and maintain equipment. They also may prepare work schedules, evaluate equipment purchases, or manage a sonography or diagnostic imaging department.
Work Environment
Sonographers typically work in healthcare facilities that pass stringent national cleanliness requirements. They work with diagnostic ultrasound imaging systems in darkened rooms, but they may also perform procedures at the bedside and during surgical procedures. Sonographers may be on their feet for long periods of time and may have to lift or turn disabled patients. Full-time sonographers work 40 hours a week, and many facilities now employ full-time sonographers for night and weekend hours. Some sonographers are on-call for emergency procedures and must be ready to report to report to work on short notice.
Diagnostic medical sonographers held about 67,300 jobs nationally in 2016. About 60 percent of all sonographer jobs were in public and private hospitals. The remaining jobs were typically in offices of physicians, medical and diagnostic laboratories, and outpatient care centers. Employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to increase by about 23 percent from 2016 to 2026. The demand for certified sonographers is due to the increased variety of sonographic exams and the number of sonographers that will retire.
The median annual wage for diagnostic medical sonographers was $69,650 in May 2016. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $48,660, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $99,100. Median annual wages of diagnostic medical sonographers in 2016 were $67,860 in offices of physicians and $70,150 in hospitals.
Research the Career
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm (visited Oct 4,2017).