Cardiac Sonography Frequently Asked Questions
Jackson College has compiled this information to assist you as you are preparing for the Cardiac Sonography Program.
Who is a Sonographer?
- A professional who works directly with patients in performing sonographic diagnostic procedures.
- A professional who performs diagnostic procedures/tests (tests that are non-invasive, without puncturing or performing incisions on a patient).
- A professional who provides physicians with medical diagnostic information on the structure and function of the area of the body in question.
What is the nature of a sonographer’s work and what do they do?
Sonographers are medical professional who operate ultrasonic imaging devices to produce diagnostic images and scans, videos or 3D volumes of anatomy and diagnostic data. Sonography requires specialized education and skills to view, analyze and modify the scan to optimize the information in the image. Because of the high levels of decisional latitude and diagnostic responsibility sonographers perform diagnostic tests such as ultrasounds and imaging.
Where do sonographers work? Where are job opportunities available?
- Many opportunities are available throughout the United States for experienced and qualified individuals.
- Clinics, mobile health services, physician’s offices, and hospitals have open positions.
- Medical industry companies also offer work in research and development, sales and marketing, which provide opportunities for international travel.
How much money could I make in this line of work?
Diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists can earn wages between $60,570 to $77,740.
For more career information, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics.
Is sonography right for me?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you like science?
- Do you like math?
- Do you like to figure things out on your own?
- Do you like to work independently?
- Do you like to interact with other people?
- Do you like to use technology?
- Do you like to be challenged with new ideas?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then maybe Sonography is right for you!
How do I learn the skills to become a sonographer? What methods are used to teach students?
- Accredited schools that offer Associate or Bachelor Degrees require you to participate in lecture, lab, clinical and didactic settings.
- Normal course work includes a minimum of one year of didactic lectures and class work, followed by an internship in the different diagnostic procedure settings.
- Be careful choosing your school. CAAHEP accredited programs may be required for certification. Jackson College Sonography programs are accredited and listed on CAAHEP. For more information, go towww.caahep.org or the website for ARDMS at www.ardms.org.
I am interested in Jackson College’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography distance learning/online program. Can I complete the program from home?
Cardiac Sonography: No. The sonography programs offer it’s didactic (curriculum) courses in an on-line, distance-learning format, which allows the student to live closer to their clinical site and complete at home. All admitted students are required to attend a pre-clinical lab course and a clinical externship. Students are required to complete the pre-clinical lab course on campus unless the student’s assigned clinical site requests hosting the student for that experience. in your location by following the instructions found on the link below.
Please visit the Cardiac Sonography clinical site request page for additional information.
General Sonography: No. The sonography programs offer it’s didactic (curriculum) courses in an on-line, distance-learning format, which allows the student to live closer to their clinical site and complete at home. All admitted students are required to attend a pre-clinical lab course and a clinical externship. Students are required to complete the pre-clinical lab course on campus unless the student’s assigned clinical site requests hosting the student for that experience. in your location by following the instructions found on the link below.
Please visit the General Sonography clinical site request page for additional information.
How many hours a week must I attend clinical?
- Cardiac Sonography: The cardiac sonography program requires students to be in the clinical setting 32 hours per week for approximately 9 months.
- General Sonography: The General Sonography program requires Students to be in the clinical setting 32 hours a week for nearly a year.
Can I go to clinical at night or on weekends?
Not typically. Accreditation requires students to be placed in the best learning situations. This is typically Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm when the majority of the staff and patients are scheduled. Students may also be expected to rotate to other shifts for different experiences.
Can I work while going through this program?
While we cannot control what you do in your own time, we strongly recommend that you do not try to work while going through the program. Some of our programs require a minimum 40 hours per week commitment, which does not account for studying time or commuting time to and from clinical assignments. It is estimated that an average of 50-60 hours of dedication is need to be successful in these programs. Adding work requirements in addition to these 50-60 hours has typically caused poor outcomes. The programs are a full time commitment. Currently, there are no part-time options.
How much does the DMS program cost?
Please select the DMS program to view the program cost:
Program cost information will be updated at the beginning of each academic year. To get the most up to date information, please visit the tuition & fees web page.
How does the admission process for the DMS programs work?
Please select the DMS program to view the specific admission process:
Can I apply for one of the DMS programs if I am currently taking pre-requisites necessary for admission the semester my application is due?
Cardiac Sonography: All applicants’ academic records are evaluated by using a numerical point system. Entry into the Cardiac Sonography program is competitive. If a prerequisite course that is a “point counter” is not completed when the application is submitted, midterm grades will be accepted at the interview. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to have their midterm grade verified by their instructor to receive points for the class. Consideration for the sonography program will still apply.
General Sonography: If a prerequisite course that is a “point counter” is not completed when the application is submitted, no points will be awarded for that course. Consideration for the sonography program will still apply.
What are the benefits in completing a job shadow in the field of sonography?
Job shadowing gives the candidate an opportunity to see if the medical field is a good fit for them, and this is something that student wants to devote their time and education toward this field. Sometimes when a student volunteers or job shadows they see firsthand what the hospital environment is like before investing in the field of DMS.
How do I know if courses taken at other colleges will transfer to Jackson College to fulfill prerequisite requirements?
Please visit the transcript page for instructions on how to send your official transcript to Jackson College for evaluation.
If I am from a state or city that Jackson College does not have a current clinical site, can I still apply to the program?
It is recommended that if you live within a 2-hour driving radius of another CAAHEP accredited program, you should apply to that program. Visit www.caahep.org to find programs nearby.
Potential clinical can contact the Program Director to learn whether an affiliated clinical site is in their geographical area.
What makes the sonography programs at Jackson College different from others?
Jackson College is one of the longest CAAHEP accredited programs in the United States. Jackson College offers the DMS programs in a distance learning, online format to serve students in many geographical locations. Jackson College offered the first distance learning CAAHEP accredited DMS program in the U.S. The cardiac sonography program is one of only three programs approved nationally and the general sonography program is one of only four programs approved nationally.
What does “accredited program” mean to a DMS graduate?
Any student (other than a Bachelor degree or RT(R) who graduates from a “non accredited” DMS program must work or volunteer for an additional year before they are eligible to take the national registry boards (ARDMS). Also, some hospitals will only hire a sonography graduate from a CAAHEP accredited program.