Diagnostic Medical Sonography
General Program Information
LCC offers an Associate Degree in Applied Science (Curriculum Code 0790).
Students are admitted in summer with a limited number of openings each year. As part of the educational training students receive hands-on experience from available clinical sites (hospitals).
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ultrasound) program is nationally accredited by:
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health
Education Programs (CAAHEP)
1361 Park Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
Important Notice Regarding Changes to the Admission Process for the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program:
- Phase I - Mandatory interview process for admission, will be worth points in the II ranking.
- Phase II - Adding:
- PFHW 163 Healthy Lifestyles - 2 credits - 5 points
- PFHW 181 Stress Management - 1 credit - 5 points
Selective Admission Information - April 1st Application Deadline
This is a selective admission program. In order to be considered as a candidate for this program, students must meet basic admission requirements beyond those required for admission to the College. Many of the courses for this program are open only to students officially admitted to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program.
All admission procedures are coordinated through the Enrollment Services Office, which has responsibility for distributing, receiving, and dating application forms. Therefore, any student desiring admission into this program should contact the Enrollment Services Office, Gannon Building, Room 203, (517) 483-1200, email (firstname.lastname@example.org), to receive an application or go to www.lcc.edu/futurestars/apply/selective/ to print an application. The student may then contact the program advisor for further information.
Students meeting basic admission requirements will be ranked for admittance into the program using a point value system. Points will only be awarded to students who meet the basic admission requirements at the time selection for students for admission is made.
The student applicant is responsible for providing verification of other information not contained in the current Lansing Community College official transcript.
Click for information video.
Nature of Work
Sonography, or ultrasonography, is the use of sound waves to generate an image used for assessment and diagnosis of various medical conditions. Diagnostic medical sonographers, also known as ultrasonographers, use special equipment to direct high frequency sound waves into areas of the patient's body. Sonographers operate the equipment that collects reflected echoes and forms an image that may be videotaped, transmitted, or photographed for interpretation and diagnosis by a physician.
Sonographers begin by explaining the procedure to the patient and recording any additional medical history that may be relevant to the condition being viewed. They then select appropriate equipment settings and direct the patient to move into positions that will provide the best view. To perform the exam, sonographers use a transducer, which transmit sound waves in a cone- or rectangle-shaped beam. Although techniques vary based on the area being examined, sonographers usually spread a special gel on the skin to aid the transmission of sound waves.
Viewing the screen during the scan, sonographers look for subtle visual cues that contrast healthy areas from unhealthy ones. They decide whether the images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes and select which ones to show to the physician. Diagnostic medical sonographers may specialize in obstetric and gynecologic sonography (the female reproductive system, abdominal sonography (the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas), neurosonography (the brain), or ophthalmologic sonography (the eyes). In addition, sonographers also may specialize in vascular technology or echocardiography.
More than half of all sonography jobs are in hospitals. Most of the rest are in physicians' offices and clinics, primarily in offices specializing in obstetrics and in diagnostic imaging
Employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2020 as the population grows and ages, increasing the demand for diagnostic imaging and therapeutic technology. Also, sonographers should experience favorable job opportunities, as ultrasound becomes an increasingly attractive alternative to radiologic procedures.
The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) certifies the competency of sonographers through registration. Because registration provides an independent, objective measure of an individual's professional standing, many employers prefer to hire registered sonographers.
Skills You Need
Sonographers need good communications and interpersonal skills because they must be able to explain technical procedures and results to their patients, some of whom may be nervous about the exam or the problems it may reveal. They also should have some background in math and science, because they must perform mathematical and scientific calculations to aid in analysis and diagnosis.
The median annual wage of diagnostic medical sonographers was $65,860 in May 2012. The middle 50 percent of sonographers earned wages between $54,260 and $76,890 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $44,990, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $91,070. Median annual wages of diagnostic medical sonographers in May 2012 were $66,900 in offices of physicians and $66,390 in general medical and surgical hospitals.
To view degree and certificate requirements click on the curriculum code below.
Degrees and Certificates
Diagnostic Medical Sonography, AAS
Visit the Course Offerings page for information pertaining to courses available during a particular semester and to view course descriptions.
IDMS 200 Sonographic Introduction
IDMS 201 General Sonography I: Abdomen
IDMS 202 OB/GYN Sonography I
IDMS 234 Sonographic Physics
IDMS 245 Sonographic Instrumentation
IDMS 265 General Sonography II
IDMS 266 OB/GYN Sonography II
IDMS 280 Clinical Experience I
IDMS 281 Clinical Experience II
IDMS 282 Clinical Experience III
All admission requirements and program information is available in the Sonography Program Advising Guide and the Vascular Technology Advising Guide. Please click on the link below to view a current copy of the guide.
Frequently Asked Questions Revised 08/02/12
- What makes Lansing Community College's DMS program different from other colleges? Lansing Community College's Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs) accredited.
- What does CAAHEP mean to a DMS graduate? A student (other than an RT(R) or Bachelor Degree graduate) who graduates from a non-accredited DMS program must work for an additional 12 months before they are eligible to take the national registry boards (ARDMS.) For more qualification information for national board eligibility, log onto: www.ardms.org. The board results, since its inception in 1975, range between 50-79% for physics, abdomen and obstetrics/gynecology. Waiting an additional 12 months may not help with increasing the registry results, especially in physics. Some hospitals will only hire a sonography graduate from a CAAHEP-accredited program.
- When does the DMS program start? How often
are candidates selected? The DMS program admits students once a
year. It is a 15-month program that starts each summer. The first
semester (Summer I) there are three IDMS courses to take -
IDMS 169 (Intro to Sonographic Scanning -1 credit /2 billing hrs),
IDMS 200 (Intro to Sonography - 2 credits / 2 billing hours) and
IDMS 270 (Sonographic Positioning I - 2 credits / 2 billing hrs) in addition to
CHSE 120 (Medical Terminology - 4 credits / 4 billing hrs).
(+DMS may accept some other college's medical terminology courses).
This determination is made by Assessment Services at LCC at: (517) 483-5500. They will require the official college transcript.
- Is the program a full-time commitment? Yes, students enter into the program in the summer and do not finish the program until the end of summer the following year.
- Where are the clinical sites located? Clinical sites vary each year due to hospital/clinic availability. The majority of clinical sites are within one (1) hour from LCC's main campus. Although some clinical sites are further and may require students to relocate. All sites are within a 200 mile radius of LCC.
- How often do students attend their clinical site? The students are at their clinical site three (3) days per week from September to December, four (4) days per week January to May, and five (5) days per week from the end of May to early September. Students are on campus at LCC on Mondays from August to May.
- What are the prerequisite requirements to get into the sonography program? They are: a) BIOL 145 or BIOL 201 and BIOL 202 (anatomy/physiology); and b) PHYS 120 (or any 3-4 credit physics course) and c) MATH 112 and d) LCC College Core requirements.
- What if I completed BIOL 201 and BIOL 202 instead of BIOL 145? Either BIOL 201/202 or BIOL 145 with a grade of 2.50 or higher is accepted for the DMS program. The DMS program grants additional points toward the selective admission program for a grade 3.5 or higher in BIOL 201/202 or BIOL 145.
- How many students per year does the ultrasound program accept? We have clinical seats for approximately 24-28 students per year.
- What if I have two (2) classes that meet an area of CORE? The class with the highest grade will be used to calculate your GPA.
- What if I already have a degree; does it waive LCC CORE requirements? Yes, having an Associates degree or higher will waive college CORE classes. Grades associated with those classes will be used to figure GPA in Phase II Ranking. Students must still take MATH 112, BIOL 145 or BIOL 201 and 202 and college physics.
- What if I already have a Bachelor's Degree? If you
have a Bachelor's* degree or higher, you will need to
take the following prerequisites: a) BIOL145 and b) any college level Physics course-3-4 credits. You must obtain a 2.5 or higher in BIOL 145 (anatomy/physiology) and a 2.0 or higher in Physics; and c) MATH 112.
- How do I know if courses will transfer to LCC as prerequisites? Your official college transcripts must be mailed directly from each of your prior college(s) to the Registrar's office at: Lansing Community College 1121A-Registrar's Office PO Box 40010 Lansing, MI 48901-7210. (517) 483-1200 or (800) 644-4522 x 1200.
- When should I apply for the sonography program? Our deadline for application is: April 1st annually. Spring grades are not included when calculating admission points for this program. All courses must be completed by the end of Fall Semester to be considered for Phase II Admission Ranking (including prerequisites, core courses, and additional point courses). There are no exceptions for outstanding high school or college transcripts received postmarked after April 1st of the year the student is applying for.
- I am a current LCC student. How do I apply? You will need to complete a second LCC application called a "selective admissions" application. You may obtain this application by contacting: LCC HHPS Dept at (517) 483-1410 or you may go to: HHS Building, Room 108 to pick up the selective application.
- I am not yet an LCC student. How should I apply? You can apply to Lansing Community College online at: www.lcc.edu and type in "application" under "key word search." Remember to complete the 2nd LCC "selective admissions" application for DMS.
- What does the Admission Committee look for in a DMS applicant? All admissions are based on Phase I and Phase II process. You may obtain more information on this process by logging onto: www.lcc.edu and under the keyword search type "sonography." You will find the curriculum code 0790 Associate Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography form there.
- What happens in the event of a tie breaker? The college looks at the oldest date of application and will offer that student the seat in the program.
- How does one get credit for an Associate Degree? It is the student's responsibility to apply for an Associate degree in order to be granted the additional points toward the selective admissions process. These forms are available in the Registrar's office of the Gannon Building. Students must take 20 credits at Lansing Community College in order to qualify for an Associate Degree from the college.
- What if I have credits toward an Associate Degree from another college? If LCC gives a student credit for a transferring course, these credits can apply toward an Associate Degree. However, the student must complete at least 20 credits at Lansing Community College in order to get a LCC Associate Degree. If the student has 45-50+ credits at another community college, they would benefit from inquiring about the "Application for Associate Degree" policy of that outside college to see if they qualify for an (non-Lansing Community College) Associate Degree.
- Why are there "optional courses" available? These courses are not required for consideration for the DMS program. However, they are very beneficial courses and may enhance a student's education in the health careers as well as give additional points toward the selective admissions process.
- How much does the program cost? You can find the current tuition and fees on page 13 of this guide, plus the cost of books and clinical uniforms. Tuition and fees are subject to change at any time by the LCC Board of Trustees.
- How can I apply for financial aid? You may find more information by visiting the LCC website at: www.lcc.edu and typing in under keyword "financial aid."
- Is there any assistance for a single parent or displaced homemaker? Yes, we have an excellent resource in our Women's Resource Center. They are on the LCC webpage, or you may reach them at: (517) 483-1199. Single students and male students should also apply at the Women's Resource Center.
- Why does it matter when I apply for the DMS program? In the event of a tie, the student who has the oldest date of application will be given the seat over an applicant with more credentials. Applicants should have their application in 30 days prior to April 1st and may want to send their application certified, return-receipt or overnight to obtain proof of delivery.
- Can I apply to more than one program within
Lansing Community College? Yes, students may apply and have
their prerequisites monitored for multiple Selective Admission Programs.
- What can I do to gain additional points toward the selective admissions process? The students will be ranked according to the semester they qualify in, and then will be ranked according to prior credentials, grade point average, work or volunteer experience in the medical field. Students who obtain a 3.5 or higher in physics and anatomy/physiology will be given additional points. Also, those students who complete the optional courses (see page 6, #8 of this advising guide) with a grade 2.50 or higher will be given additional points toward the selective admissions process.
- Why do you give additional points in the selective admissions process for previous medical experience or hospital volunteer experience? It makes sense that those students who have had previous medical experience (including volunteering) may have an advantage in the program over those who have no experience. This also gives the candidate an opportunity to see if the medical field is a good fit for them, and if this is something they really want to devote their time and education toward. Sometimes, when a student volunteers, for example, they realize that they are not interested in this field, or they find out that they don't enjoy being around patients who are ill.
- Can I work while completing the sonography program? We do have students who work on a part-time basis. The DMS program is an intense program, so we do not recommend a student to work even part time, especially during the fall semester. We have had students who do work, but they have excellent study habits and a great support system at home that enables them to do so successfully.
- How does my GPA figure into the selective admission DMS process? We look at the student's GPA for all LCC courses (Core and optional), and we give additional points to a grade 3.5 or higher in anatomy and physiology and physics. Those students who do well—especially in anatomy and physiology typically do well in the field of diagnostic medical sonography and on the national registry boards—www.ardms.org.
- Is there a waiting list to get into the sonography program at LCC? We do not keep a waiting list from year to year. If a student applies to the program and is not accepted, they must contact the Selective Admissions Office to carry over their application for consideration, or to re-apply for the next year by April 1.
- Should I job shadow in the field of general sonography
before applying to the program? This is an excellent idea and
we do recommend it. By doing this, the student is exposed to what the
real life situation in the ultrasound department is, and what sonography
really entails. This is a great way to help a student decide if this is
really the field and the fit for them career-wise.
- What are the qualities that a student should have to be a good sonographer? The sonographer performs clinical assessment and diagnostic sonography exams. The sonographer uses cognitive sonographic skills to identify, record, and adapt procedures as appropriate to anatomical, pathological, diagnostic information and images. He/she uses independent judgment during the sonographic exam to accurately differentiate between normal and pathologic findings, and analyses sonograms, synthesizes sonographic information and medical history, and communicates findings to the appropriate physician. The sonographer also assumes responsibility for the safety, mental and physical comfort of patients while they are in the sonographer's care.
- What is a sonographer? A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer is a Diagnostic Ultrasound Professional that is qualified by professional credentialing and academic and clinical experience to provide diagnostic patient care services using ultrasound and related diagnostic procedures.
- What are some of the skills necessary to be a sonographer?
The following is a list from the Society of Diagnostic Medical
- Ability to integrate diagnostic sonograms, laboratory results, patient history and medical records, and adapt sonographic examination as necessary.
- Ability to use independent judgment to acquire the optimum diagnostic sonographic information in each examination performed.
- Ability to evaluate, synthesize, and communicate diagnostic information to the attending physician.
- Ability to communicate effectively with the patient and the health care team, recognizing the special nature of sonographic examinations and patient's needs.
- Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public and health care team.
- Ability to follow established departmental procedures.
- Ability to work efficiently and cope with emergency situations.
- Ability to evaluate sonograms in order to acquire appropriate diagnostic information.
- If I have other questions, whom should I contact? You may contact the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at: (517) 483-1410. For more information on this, you may log onto: www.sdms.org
- What are the job prospects for the field of sonography? There is currently a national shortage for sonographers as there are in most health care professions and this shortage is expected for the next several years. Locally, there is not a shortage of sonographers currently. There are several accredited DMS programs within a 100 mile radius of Lansing so these area employers have greatly benefited from this pool of DMS graduates.
Sonography Program Related Links
Occupational Outlook Handbook
United States Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Sonography Program Physical Guidelines
- STRENGTH: Perform physical activities requiring ability to push/pull objects/persons more than 100 pounds and to transfer objects of more than 100 pounds. Emphasis on upper body strength.
- MANUAL DEXTERITY: Perform simple motor skills such as standing, walking, handshaking; manipulative skills such as writing and typing, use of fine motor skills with both hands simultaneously; calibrating ultrasound equipment, adjusting film processors, and loading/unloading film magazines.
- COORDINATION: Perform gross body coordination such as walking, filing, retrieving equipment; eye-hand coordination such as computer/keyboard skills and arm-hand steadiness such as taking blood pressures, catheterizing, calibration of tools and equipment, etc.
- MOBILITY: Perform mobility skills such as walking, standing, bending; pushing portable equipment throughout hospital; prolonged standing while completing procedures.
- VISUAL ABILITY: See objects far away and to discriminate colors, and to see objects closely as in reading faces, dials, monitors, etc; viewing control panels and operate equipment under low overhead lighting.
- HEARING: Hear normal sounds with some background noise from ultrasound control panels, computers,, etc., and to distinguish sounds.
- CONCENTRATION: Concentrate on details with moderate amount of interruptions such as patient requests, doctor and staff requests, etc.
- ATTENTION SPAN: Attend to task/functions for periods up to 60 minutes in length and to attend to task/functions for periods exceeding 60 minutes in length.
- CONCEPTUALIZATION: Understand and relate to specific ideas, concepts, and theories generated and discussed simultaneously.
- MEMORY: Remember task/assignments given to self and others over both short and long periods of time.
- CRITICAL THINKING: Ability to make clinical judgment when working independently to obtain diagnostic images.
- INTERPERSONAL: Interact with individuals,
families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural,
and intellectual backgrounds.
Must be able to establish rapport with patients, colleagues, faculty, and professional staff.
- COMMUNICATION: Abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form.
- SUBSTANCE ABUSE: Student does not use a
Schedule I, II or IV* drug; student does not use an amphetamine,
narcotic, or any other habit-forming drug unless prescribed by a
licensed medical practitioner. Students should declare-- (physician
statement) if he/she takes Schedule IV drug.
Examples of Schedule IV drugs include Valium, Xanax, Phenobarbital, and Rohypnol--commonly known as the "date rape" drug. *Students who test positive for Schedule I, II or Rohypnol will be subject to expulsion from the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.
- STRESS: Requires working with patients who may be very young or old, critically ill or injured, or mentally or physically deficient/impaired; working with a constantly changing staff, resident physicians, and medical students.
The charter of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Since OSHA was created in 1971, work-related deaths have decreased by approximately 62% and work-related injuries have decreased by 42%.
As a sonography student you will be exposed to a variety of substances within the work environment and hospital sites. You can expect exposure to blood, body tissues, and fluids. There is the potential of exposure to electrical hazards, hazardous waste materials, radiation, poisonous substances, chemicals, loud or unpleasant noises and high stress emergency situations.
Upon acceptance into the Sonography Program students will be notified regarding a mandatory online OSHA Blood-Borne Pathogen and Universal Precautions training session.
Criminal Background Check
In order for the Sonography Program to be in compliance with Michigan Public Health Code Section 20173, criminal background checks will be completed on all students applying for admission (or readmission) to the program. Admission to the Sonography Program will be denied for the following:
Any felony conviction within 15 years prior to application
Any misdemeanor within 10 years prior to application that involved or is similar to the following
- Abuse, neglect, assault, battery
- Criminal sexual conduct
- Fraud or theft against a vulnerable adult (as defined by the Michigan penal code)
The following links will provide detailed information:
Once admitted to the program, students subsequently convicted of the crimes listed above will be dismissed from the Sonography Program.
It is the student's responsibility to report changes in the status of their criminal background to the Program Director.
LCC would like to recognize the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program during October's Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month.
Job Shadowing Information
It is an excellent idea and we strongly recommend job shadowing. By doing this, the student is exposed to what the real life situation in the ultrasound department is, and what sonography really entails. This is a great way to help a student decide if this is really the field and the fit for them career-wise.
Vascular Certificate Program
LCC now has a Vascular Certificate Program for working Sonographers! Click here to find out more about it
AMVETS Department of MI Nursing and Allied Health Program Scholarships - Deadline June of each year
AMVETS Department of MI
1249 Washington Blvd., Suite 2901
Detroit MI 48226
AIUM (American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine)
www.aium.org under scholarships.
Occupational Program Awards - Deadline for 2015 Scholarship Applications is Saturday - February 14, 2015.
The awards are offered for a maximum of three semesters over a period of two consecutive years (Fall, Spring and one Summer Semester.) Renewal each semester is contingent upon the recipient meeting all award requirements. The Awards will cover up to $1,096 in tuition and fees each fall and spring semester and up to $382 for an optional summer semester. These amounts will cover approximately 12 billing hours plus partial fees in Fall and Spring Semesters and 4 billing hours plus partial fees in Summer Semester. An award recipient must:
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. Reside in the LCC district.
- Be a high school graduate.
- Pursue an approved LCC Health or Human Services Degree (occupational curriculum).
- Have a cumulative high school grade point average of at least 3.0.
Click here for application form: http://www.lcc.edu/scholarships/application/
For more information, please contact:
The Foundation Office at (517) 483-1985.
The following scholarship information is administered by the Lansing Community College Financial Aid Office.
For information regarding these scholarship opportunities, please contact (517) 483-1199.
American Business Women's Association (ABWA) Lansing Charter Chapter General Health Careers Scholarship
LCC district residents are encouraged to apply. Recipients must be pursuing a career and first degree in one of the health fields. Students shall have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Financial need will be considered.
Belen Health Careers Scholarship (Endowed)
LCC District resident students enrolled for a minimum of 12 credits in LCC Health Careers programs are eligible to apply. Preference is given to candidates 25 years of age or older who agree to work one full year at a health care facility in Lansing. Recipients must maintain a 3.0 or better GPA. Consideration will be given for financial need.
Jan and Joe Foster Health Careers Scholarship (Endowed)
Applicants must be LCC district residents and should be enrolled or planning to enroll for a minimum of 12 credits in the LCC Health Careers programs. Preference will be given to mothers who are 23 years of age or older. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required. Consideration will be given to students with financial need.
Jan and Joe Foster Health Careers Scholarship for Newcomers (Endowed)
Applicants must be LCC district residents and should be enrolled or planning to enroll for a minimum of 12 credits in the LCC Health Careers programs. Preference will be given to students who emigrate from other countries. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required. Consideration will be given to students with financial need.
Theo Fulton Memorial Scholarship Presented by the Zonta Club of Lansing (Endowed)
Preference will be given to candidates 25 years of age or older who are enrolled for a minimum of 8 credits in an LCC Health Careers Program, and who have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Candidates must be LCC District residents willing to work one full year in a local health care facility such as a hospital or nursing home.
Ingham County Medical Society Alliance Health Scholarship
Applicants must be a tri-county resident and graduate of a Clinton, Eaton, or Ingham county high school. Consideration will be given to students enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits in any of the following Allied Health programs: Diagnostic medical sonography, basic EMT program, career nursing, radiologic or surgical tech, or paramedic program. A minimum 2.5 GPA is required.
Ingham Regional Medical Center Peppermint Gift Shop Scholarship
This scholarship is to support and encourage individuals interested in entering or advancing in the medical field. A separate application for this scholarship is available in the LCC Foundation office, LCC Advising office, or directly from the Ingham Regional Medical Center Peppermint Gift Shop. Two recipients will be selected each year and the award amount is $1500.00 per year per student. Academic achievement, a personal statement, interview, three references and volunteer work experience will be considered in making selections.
Ann C. Snyder, Ph.D. Health Careers Designated Scholarship
Preference for students with volunteer or work related experience. Any Health Careers field will be considered. Recipients shall have a minimum 2.5 GPA and enroll for at least 12 credits. Financial need will be considered.
There is new scholarship opportunities for DMS students now that LCC is CAAHEP accredited. It is with the SDMS (Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography-Educational Foundation) at: http://www.sdmsfoundation.org/
SDMS (Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography) Presidential Scholarship, Trudy Dubinksy Scholarship
www.sdms.org under scholarships.
Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Health and Human Services Bldg, Room 108
Phone: (517) 483-1410
Additional contact information »