Radiation Sciences Programs

  • DMS2
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography  

    Career Information & Outlook

    The Diagnostic Medical Sonographer is a skilled professional who uses equipment producing high-frequency sound waves to create diagnostic images and data that help health care professionals diagnose patients with disease. Ultrasound imaging is used on many parts of the body, including the abdomen, heart, blood vessels, and the developing fetus of a pregnant woman. When determining normal and abnormal findings, the sonographer must demonstrate sectional anatomy through transducer manipulation. The sonographer uses independent judgment in recognizing the need to extend the scope of the study according to the diagnostic findings. These professionals participate in the reading sessions with physicians, contributing technical and professional knowledge and observation to the final diagnostic impression. The sonographer spends extended time with the patient obtaining a thorough history of symptoms, explaining the exam, answering questions, and performing the exam. He or she must also recognize emergency patient care situations and institute lifesaving first aid when necessary. Extended patient contact and added professional responsibility are only a couple of the many rewards found in the field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Visit the U.S. Department of Labor's O*NET (29-2032.00 - Diagnostic Medical Sonographers) for additional career information.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics Outlook 

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational outlook reports employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to grow 39 percent from 2012-2022—faster than average for all occupations. Ultrasound imaging technology is expected to evolve rapidly and spawn many new sonography procedures, enabling sonographers to scan and image areas of the body where ultrasound has not traditionally been used. Sonographers with multiple specialties or multiple credentials also will have good prospects.
    For statistics on salary expectations and additional information on a career in Diagnostic Medical Sonography visit the Bureau of Labor and Statistics website.

    Commitment to the Pursuit of Quality

    The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program takes great care in its pursuit to select and educate top quality sonographers. The items below provide verification of our commitment to this pursuit.

    ARDMS Credentialing Rate

    Program graduates sit for at least two national credentialing examinations administered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). Most graduates sit for three or more exams. One examination will be Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) and the other options include Abdomen, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Vascular Technology and Adult Echocardiography. The program graduates have enjoyed strong achievement on ARDMS credentialing exams.

    Program Credentialing Rate

    Year
     
    Credentialing Area
    Number Taking
     
    Number Passed
     
    Percent Successful
    National Pass Rate
    2014 Abdomen 9 9 100% 62%
    2014 Obstetrics and Gynecology 8 8 100% 74%
    2014 Vascular Technology 9 9 100% 58%
    2014 Echocardiography 3 3 100% 60%
    2013 Abdomen 9 9 100% 60%
    2013 Obstetrics and Gynecology 9 9 100% 74%
    2013 Vascular Technology 9 9 100% 59%
    2013 Echocardiography 2 2 100% 60%
    2012 Abdomen 8 8 100% 60%
    2012 Obstetrics and Gynecology 8 8 100% 72%
    2012 Vascular Technology 8 8 100% 58%
    2012 Echocardiography 3 3 100% 59%
    2011 Abdomen 10 10 100% 61%
    2011 Obstetrics and Gynecology 10 10 100% 72%
    2011 Vascular Technology 10 10 100% 57%
    2011 Echocardiography 3 3 100% 59%

    Program Completion Rates

    Graduating Year
    # of Students Entering
    # of Students Graduating
    Completion %
    2015
    10
     
    10
    100%
    2014
    13
     
    12
     
    92%
    2013
    11
    11
    100%
    2012
    13
    11
    85%
    2011
    13
    13
    100%
    5-year average


    95%

    Program Placement Rate

    Year
    Number seeking employment
    Number who found employment
    Placement Rate
    2014
    12
    12
    100%
    2013
    11
    11
    100%
    2012
    11
    22
    100%
    2011
    13
    13
    100%
    2010
    13
     13
    100%

    Program effectiveness criteria is defined by JRCDMS at:
    http://www.jrcdms.org/pdf/JRCDMS_Policies%20(8-2013).pdf

    Additional information on University of Iowa performance metrics such as loan default rates, median borrowing, etc. are available at http://financialaid.uiowa.edu/receivingfunds/notification/performancemetrics and http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=university+of+iowa&s=all&id=153658

    Mission Statement

    The program offers high quality, enthusiastic students an ambitious education that provides them with the information, resources, and environment necessary to become compassionate, competent, responsible, and independent sonography professionals. The program's mission is supported by a caring team of educational staff, sonographers, and physicians with expertise in various aspects of sonography and a commitment to education. An extensive array of didactic resources and a wide variety of advanced clinical experiences at a renowned academic medical center provide graduates with the skills and versatility needed to function in a variety of health care facilities. The program's mission is in concert with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics' mission of service to all Iowans.

    Program Goals

    1. Recruit highly qualified students into the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program.
    2. Provide an educational experience to support and comply with the Code of Ethics for the Profession of Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound and the Scope of Practice for the Diagnostic Ultrasound Professional as developed by the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.
    3. Build upon a core health science curriculum that includes Medical Terminology, Ethics and Law, Pathophysiology and Patient Care.
    4. Provide academic activities that enable graduates to develop a thorough knowledge base for the use of diagnostic ultrasound imaging and testing of the human body.
    5. Provide a general, vascular and cardiac sonography curriculum that will include abdominal, obstetrics and gynecology, vascular technology, cardiac sonography, sonographic principles, physics and instrumentation.
    6. Provide students with the knowledge, clinical skills, problem-solving abilities and interpersonal skills to practice in the profession of sonography.
    7. Make the students aware of the importance of professional life-long learning.
    8. Graduate sonography professionals that function as an important and competent part of the health care team, and represent the commitment to excellence that the program strives to achieve.