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Earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Majors Overview June 20, 2014

Those interested in diagnosing ailments should look into the diagnostic medical sonography field. Students in Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography will be taught the training and knowledge necessary for the field.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree Programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Students enrolled in A.A.S. degree programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography are trained to seek entry-level jobs within the health care industry as operators of sonographic equipment and interpreters of information. It takes two years to complete these programs, which are offered at universities and colleges.

Students become adept at creating internal body shapes by employing ultrasound equipment, and doctors subsequently use the images in performing diagnoses of medical problems. Students are also trained in interacting with and explaining procedures to patients.

Education Requirements

A point system is used in allowing an admission into these programs with points awarded for location and academic performance. Proof of physical examinations and CPR certification are required from prospective students. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


The program coursework combines classroom lectures, clinical instruction, and lab studies. Students are taught patient care, medical ethics, physiology, and anatomy. Additional coursework may include the following topic areas:

•General pathology
•Sonography techniques
•Ultrasound instrumentation
•Health care orientation
•Nurse aide training
•Professional issues in sonography

Career Choices

A high job growth has been predicted for diagnostic medical sonographers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). The best opportunities are expected to go to sonographers that hold multiple specialties and certifications. Diagnostic medical sonography has various career options, such as:

•Abdominal sonographer
•Breast sonographer
•Obstetric and gynecologic sonographer
•Vascular technologist
•Cardiac sonographer

Continuing Education Choices

While it is not mandatory for diagnostic medical sonographers to obtain licensure in any state, employers prefer to hire registered sonographers. The Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) credential is offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Passage of two exams will help a candidate acquire this certification.

The ARDMS certifications are available in many specialty areas. Interested individuals can also seek credentials offered by the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT). Registration can be maintained through continued education.

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