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About the Sonography Profession
Sonography is a diagnostic medical procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce dynamic images of internal organs, tissues, or blood flow. 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.
The profession requires judgment, critical thinking, and the ability to provide appropriate healthcare services. Sonographers are highly skilled professionals qualified by technological education. They provide patient services using diagnostic ultrasound under the supervision of a doctor of medicine or osteopathy.
A 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.
About the Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at LLU
The Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography at Loma Linda University is a 27-month program. Eighty percent is face-to-face coursework, with about 20% online. The program is comprised of both classroom and clinical education. Students will spend 32-35 hours per week in a clinical setting, Monday through Friday, with classes held once a week for 2-5 hours. Class and clinical education is from approximately 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or a possible swing shift in the later afternoon to early evening. The program includes rotations to multiple affiliate hospitals for additional clinical training. The program begins each Summer quarter in June, with 12-14 students.
The Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is rigorous. Students should expect to give full-time attention to this demanding program. Students in the past have needed to adjust their personal schedules to make this program a priority. Students should also plan to drive to their clinical affiliates (could be as far as 60 minutes away), which are assigned to each student after the program begins. Students are expected to be responsible, accountable, and dependable as well as behave and communicate with high professional standards. Attendance in all classes and clinical rotations is expected. Students are also expected to be able to perform the essential job functions throughout the program and on into the profession.
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at Loma Linda University, School of Allied Health Professions, provides a quality educational experience focused on the whole person. The program prepares students to take the national board exam and become entry-level sonographers. It also equips them with the knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and behaviors appropriate for providing excellent patient care and working on a health care team.
Our vision is to be known by our students, alumni, clinical instructors, faculty, professional community, and staff as the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program of choice. Additionally, we want the program experience to be known as "a close family" that is exciting, challenging, and transforming.
We accomplish our mission and vision by achieving high standards of excellence. These include standards for professional behavior, academics, clinical education, customer service and collaborative success. We do this while living by the Loma Linda University values of excellence, integrity, compassion, self-control, humility, freedom, and justice.
Goals and Student Learning Outcomes
While in the Program, students will demonstrate clinical competence by performing ultrasound exams of diagnostic quality, and applying patient care and appropriate practices for all procedures. Students will communicate effectively and clearly explain ultrasound procedures to patients and often family members. They will effectively communicate and work with the healthcare team while demonstrating appropriate communication to diverse populations. Students will develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills so that they can appropriately adjust procedures, and critique images to determine diagnostic acceptability. Students will demonstrate the values and professional development, model professional behavior, and examine the core values and reflect on personal application. Students will also apply knowledge in interdisciplinary situations.
______ Read all the information on the LLU Sonography WEB page (llu.edu/sonography). Should you have any questions after reviewing the information on the WEB page, please email the program director, Marie DeLange (firstname.lastname@example.org).
______ Have your transcripts reviewed and an academic plan established with an academic counselor or advisor from the regionally accredited institution you are attending or plan to attend to complete the program prerequisites and requirements.
______ Plan to complete all prerequisite courses by the end of May of the year you would like to begin the program and have your course plan verified by LLU personnel.
______ Submit an application to the Sonography program online (llu.edu/apply) during the application window. There is an application fee.
______ Order all OFFICIAL transcripts to be sent directly from all institutions to Admissions Processing as soon as the application has been submitted, even if you have courses in progress.
______ Register for and attend the required Ultrasound Information Session prior to scheduling the required observation. Please note that after you have submitted an application, you will be sent a link to register for the Ultrasound Information Session once the dates have been determined. Spaces are limited, so early registration is encouraged once it becomes available. Once a date has been established for your attendance, the program director, Marie DeLange, or the clinical coordinator, Erin Marshall, will send you the specific details via email. The session will take approximately 1-2 hours on that day.
______ Schedule and attend the required observation. You will not be able to observe without first having attended the required Ultrasound Information Session. Furthermore, to observe, your OFFICIAL transcripts should have been received and reviewed by Admissions for verification of your prerequisites at this point or at least an Enrollment Verification Letter submitted from institutions that will not release official transcripts with courses in progress. A link will then be sent to you via email so that you can choose a date to observe. Spaces are limited, so please try to set up an observation as soon as possible. If we run out of dates for you to observe prior to interviews, you will need to reapply the following year.
______ Schedule and attend the interview. In order to be eligible for the interview, you must have completed all the aforementioned steps—submitted an application, attended the required Ultrasound Information Session, submitted your OFFICIAL transcripts for review by LLU personnel, AND then completed the observation.
Note: If you live out of state or have extenuating circumstances, please contact the program director, Marie DeLange (email@example.com), and we will try to make other arrangements.
LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION
- Attend a free online career guidance session to learn about all of the programs in the LLU Department of Radiation Technology
- Attend the Loma Linda University Open House
- Bachelor of Science Program Brochure
- Program FAQ
- Sonography Observation Form and Process
- Sonography Prerequisites
- Program Curriculum for Medical Sonography
- Sonography Applicant Check-list
- Application Window: June 1 to January 10
- Priority Deadline: October 15
- Final Deadline: January 10
Since October 7,1985, the program has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS). Loma Linda University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
To contact the JRCDMS:
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
In addition, our vascular lab has been accredited by the Accreditation of Vascular Labs (ICAVL) since 1993. Our cardiac labs are also accredited by ICAEL.
The program, in general, follows the Loma Linda University Quarterly academic terms. The program begins each June. Please refer to the Academic Calendar since the actual dates change yearly.
Why Choose LLU?
- No waiting list. Every applicant is reviewed each year on an individual basis.
- Comprehensive and compassionate instruction in the classroom and clinical setting.
- Students gain valuable diversity in their experiences through multiple clinical rotations.
- Students receive more hands on clinical experience than other comparable programs.
- Graduates are competent in a broader range of exams than comparable programs.
- Diligent students often obtain the ARDMS credentials prior to program completion.
- Alumni are employed at the majority of our clinical sites, providing care and guidance.
- Graduates are more prepared and requested for employment in all levels of health care.
Essential Job Functions
The essential job functions of a sonographer require certain physical, mental, & emotional attributes. Physical demands include lifting; carrying; bending; manipulation of equipment; patient assistance; walking and prolonged standing; the ability to read; and the ability to communicate effectively. Mental, emotional and affective demands include:
- Critical decision making
- Interaction with patients of different ages and health conditions
- Maintaining patient confidentiality
- Ability to work under pressure
- Ability to repeat previously learned information
- Interacting appropriately
Students must maintain essential job functions throughout the program. A complete list of essential job functions will be made available during the interview process.
Eligibility for ARDMS Credential
Eligibility for the ARDMS credentialing exam may be affected if the applicant has a prior felony or misdemeanor conviction. Prior to applying to this program the applicant should contact the ARDMS at 800-862-7367 to determine if eligibility will be granted.
Applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA to enter the program; however, a 3.0 GPA and above is preferred. Applicants are required to complete a background check and possess a current Health Care Provider CPR card offered by the American Heart Association. To remain in the program students must maintain a 2.5 GPA, pass a mock board exam, and adhere to the Program’s professional code of conduct. Students at some clinical sites may need a drug test.
Marie DeLange, B.S., RDMS, RDCS, FSDMS, FAIUM
Program Director, Echocardiography
Program Director, B.S. in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Department of Radiation Technology
909-558-4931 Department Office