Medical Sonography Overview
The Sonography curriculum at A-B Tech prepares the graduate to be a sonographer, a skilled health care professional who uses high frequency sound waves to produce dynamic visual images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body. This type of exam is called a sonogram. There are several areas of specialization in the field of sonography:
- Abdomen - evaluation of all the soft tissues, blood vessels and organs of the abdomen
- Obstetrics/Gynecology - evaluation of the developing fetus and female reproductive system
- Vascular - evaluation of the blood flow through blood vessels
Graduates of accredited programs are eligible to apply to take the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) national examination for certification as medical sonographers. A-B Tech graduates are eligible for the following ARDMS registries:
- Sonography Principles and Instrumentation
- Vascular Technology
Candidates for certification from the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) who have ever been convicted of, found guilty of, or pleaded nolo contendre to any crime or misdemeanor directly related to pubilc health and safety must submit information to the ARDMS to determine eligibility for certification. Additional information may be obtained from the program faculty.
Students admitted to the Associate Degree Sonography Program at A-B Tech must possess the capability to complete all aspects of the classroom and clinical curriculum. This curriculum requires demonstrated proficiency using a variety of cognitive, problem-solving, maniuplative, communicative, and interpersonal skills. Therefore, all students in the program must possess the following abilities and meet the following expectations.
Students must be able to:
- Observe and participate in all demonstrations and experiments in the sciences related to sonography, including group and self-learing stituations.
- Learn to analyze, synthesize, solve problems, and reach evaluative judgment.
- Have sufficient use of the senses of vision, hearing, and touch necessary to directly perform a sonographic examination, review and evaluate the dynamic images for the purpose of identifying normal and abnormal conditions.
- Establish a sensitive, professional, and effective relationship with patients and be able to communicate verbally in an effective manner to direct patients during sonographic examinations.
- Provide physical and emotional support to patients during sonographic procedures, being able to respond to situations requiring first aid and providing appropriate emergency care to the patient in the absence of, or until further support arrives.
- Acknowledge and understand limitations in their knowledge, skills, and abilities and to seek appropriate assistance with the identified limitations.
- Possess the ability to work collaboratively with all other healthcare professionals.
- Learn and perform routine sonographic procedures, using intellectual capacity to manipulate the hand held camera according to the individual patient needs and body habitus and the requirements of the procedure's standards of speed and accuracy.
- Have sufficient strength, motor coordination, and manual dexterity to transport, move, lift, and transfer patients from a wheelchair or cart to an examiniation table or to a patient bed. There is a sufficient amount of hand eye coordination in effort to manipulate the camera to obtain the appropriate image.
- Learn to respond professionally with precise, quick, and appropriate action in stressful and emergency situations.
- Accept criticism and adopt appropriate modifications in behavior based on constructive criticism.
- Possess the perseverance, dilligence, and consistency to complete the sonography program curriculum.
Medical Sonography Program Accreditation
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756, www.caahep.org, Phone: 727-210-2350, Fax: 727-210-2354
The Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
6021 University Boulevard, Suite 500, Ellicott City, MD 21043, www.jrcdms.org, Phone: 443-973-3251
Clinical Education Centers
The following facilities are used for directed clinical experience. Students will rotate through the clinical affiliates for four-to-five week rotations. Some of these clinical sites may require an hour drive from campus.
- Memorial Mission Hospital, Asheville, NC
- Memorial Mission Hospital - Saint Joseph Campus, Asheville, NC
- Asheville Imaging Center, Asheville, NC
- Charles George VA Medical Center, Asheville, NC
- Margaret R. Pardee Medical Center and Radiology Outpatient Center, Hendersonville, NC
- Park Ridge Hospital, Fletcher, NC
- Transylvania Community Hospital, Brevard, NC
- MAHEC, Asheville, NC
- Carolina Vascular Center, Asheville, NC
- Asheville Cardiology Associates, Asheville, NC
- Haywood Regional Medical Center, Clyde, NC
- Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Spartanburg, SC
- McDowell Hospital, Marion, NC
- Rutherford Hospital, Rutherfordton, NC
- Hope Women's Cancer Center, Asheville, NC
- Sonography Services / Sonocare, Morganton, NC
Candidates for certification from the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) who have ever been convicted of, found guilty of, or pleaded nolo contendre to any crime or misdemeanor directly related to public health and safety must submit information to the ARDMS to determine eligibility for certification. Additional information may be obtained from the program faculty.
Medical sonography students will be required to complete clinical rotations which may require them to travel as much as one hour from campus. Clinical affiliates are currently located in Asheville, Brevard, Hendersonville, and Fletcher. All medical sonography students will complete at least one four week rotation during the late afternoon-early evening hours (3:30 - 10 p.m.) at some time during their clinic education. The College refund policy applies if a student drops the program after being denied clinical site privileges.