A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

About the Medical Sonography Profession

What is Diagnostic Medical Sonography?

Ultrasound, commonly called Sonography or Medical Sonography, is a diagnostic medical procedure that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce dynamic visual images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body. This type of procedure is often referred to as a sonogram or ultrasound scan.

Sonography can be used to examine many parts of the body, such as the abdomen, breasts, obstetrics & gynecology, prostate, heart, and blood vessels.

More and more, sonography is being used in the detection and treatment of heart disease and vascular disease that can lead to a stroke. It is also used to guide fine-needle tissue biopsies. Unlike X-rays, sonography is a radiation-free imaging modality.

What is Required of a Sonographer?

The profession requires judgment, critical thinking, and the ability to provide appropriate health-care services. Sonographers are highly skilled professionals qualified by technological education to provide patient services using diagnostic ultrasound under the supervision of a doctor of medicine or osteopathy.

The sonographer may provide this service in a variety of medical settings where the physician is responsible for the use and interpretation of ultrasound procedures. Sonographers assist physicians in gathering sonographic data necessary to reach diagnostic decisions.

The diagnostic medical sonographer is able to:

  • Obtain, review, and integrate pertinent patient history and supporting clinical data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results.
  • Perform appropriate procedures and record anatomical, pathological, and/or physiological data for interpretation by a physician.
  • Record and process sonographic data and other pertinent observations made during the procedure for presentation to the interpreting physician.
  • Exercise critical thinking and judgment in the performance of sonographic services.
  • Provide patient education related to medical ultrasound and promote principles of good health.

Medical Sonography Terminology

These are some terms you may encounter on our web site or while researching the profession of a medical sonographer.

Accredited college - An approved college from which Loma Linda University accepts transfer students and credits.

Admissions Process Checklist – A checklist of requirements that must be met before being considered for the Loma Linda University Sonography/Ultrasound program.

Application fee - Fee required to process application.  Currently $60.

Cardiac - Pertaining to the heart and heart region.

Career observation requirement – Eight hours of clinic time spent observing sonography procedures.

Clinical site - A contracted facility with whom we hold an affiliate agreement and that welcomes LLU students

FAQ-  Frequently Asked Questions about the profession and the Sonography program at Loma Linda University.

LLUMC - Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda California.

Observation- Time spent in a Sonography department with a practicing sonographer watching procedures and asking questions.

Prerequisite - A college course that is required before you enter the program.

RDMS Credential - Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. Performs examinations of internal organs and assist in the diagnosis of normal and abnormal conditions in children and pregnant women. Ultrasound physics and one specialty must be successfully passed in order to earn RDMS credentials.

RDCS Credential - Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer. Skilled in delivering diagnostic images to help assess cardiac conditions and disease processes.

RVT Credential - Registered Vascular Technologist. A skilled professional who performs a variety of non-invasive exams to help assess arteries and veins throughout the body.

SAHP - School of Allied Health Professions.

Sonography - A technique in which high-frequency sound waves are bounced off internal organs and the echo pattern is converted into a two-dimensional picture of the structures beneath the transducer.

Tuition- Students financial responsibility for academics. (See cost for further information)

Ultrasound - A type of imaging technique which uses high-frequency sound waves.

Vascular - Pertaining to blood vessels or indicative of a copious blood supply.