Vascular Sonography – Associate in Applied Science

A highly-skilled allied health professional, a vascular sonographer performs arterial and venous diagnostic procedures using high-frequency sound waves. A vascular sonographer operates a variety of complex diagnostic and monitoring equipment and numerous ancillary devices.

The vascular sonographer performs carotid duplex scanning, lower and upper extremity Doppler examinations, venous duplex scans, abdominal vascular exams, evaluates test results, monitors physiological states of the patient, conducts patient education, and maintains accurate records and protocols during and after procedures. A thorough understanding of hemodynamics and pathophysiology is required.

The vascular sonography program is an online program accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in the United States. It is a program leading to an Associate in Applied Science degree. The program is outcome-based, and the curriculum consists of integrated educational and clinical coursework with a maximum of 1,000 supervised clinical hours with an approved clinical education affiliate. The mastery and performance proficiency level are assessed in the final clinical semester. Learners will be eligible for early completion during the last clinical semester.

The program is designed to prepare the student for employment in vascular sonography. Vascular positions are located within hospitals, medical clinics, and other diagnostic imaging health institutions. Upon successful completion, students are eligible to apply for certification exams through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography and, if successful, use the credentials RVT (Registered Vascular Technologist).

There are special admission requirements to the sonography programs, and it is the student’s responsibility to understand and adhere to them. Entry into a program is competitive and based on a “point system.” Point values are based on grades earned in prerequisite coursework and the interview process.

Applications are processed according to the following:

  • Applications must be received by the Allied Health Office by January 31.
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography Admission Committee conducts consultations.
  • Students are notified by mail of application consultation results.
  • Accepted students begin fall semester.

General education prerequisites and related requirement courses must be completed before admission to the program.


Minimum credits: 74
Minimum cumulative GPA: 2.0
Minimum grade in all courses: 2.0
Minimum grade in BIO 132 or BIO 253/254, HOC 130 and MOA 120: 2.5
Minimum Jackson College credits: 15

GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
Write clearly, concisely and intelligibly

Choose one of the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
ENG 131 Writing Experience I 3 ENG 085 and ENG 091

This is an intensive writing course. Narrative and descriptive modes are stressed. Basic research strategies are introduced. An end-of-the-semester portfolio is required.

ENG 132 Writing Experience II 3 ENG 131

This is an intensive writing course. Analytical and persuasive modes are stressed. Advanced research writing strategies are used. Database and primary research methods are emphasized. An end-of-the-semester portfolio is required.

Recognize the importance of equity and inclusion in a diverse society

Take the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
COM 250 Intercultural Communication 3 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

(Students cannot receive credit for both COM 250 and COM 350) This course will explore how diverse cultural orientations influence the way we perceive and interact with an increasingly culturally diverse world. We will discuss the causes of intercultural conflicts in different communication settings (interpersonal, small group, school, workplace and global) and how to manage them effectively.

Demonstrate computational skills and mathematical reasoning

Take the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
MAT 130 Quantitative Reasoning 4 MAT 030

Quantitative Reasoning develops student skills in analyzing, synthesizing and communicating quantitative information. Cultivates algebraic reasoning and modeling skills through a quantitative literacy lens. Emphasizes critical thinking and the use of multiple strategies in applied contexts. Topics include proportional and statistical reasoning, probability, and evaluation of bias and validity.

Demonstrate scientific reasoning

Choose one of the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
BIO 132 Human Biology 4 ENG 085* and MAT 020* or higher

Students focus on the structure and function of the human body, the unity and diversity of life, the nature of scientific inquiry, and the principles and processes of evolution as well as contemporary issues that relate to biology. Course includes a laboratory component which focuses on human anatomy.

BIO 253 and 254 Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II 8

Human Anatomy and Physiology I
This is the first course of a two-semester course sequence in which students study the anatomy and physiology of the human body. The course includes introductions to basic chemistry, biology and histology and extends to the survey of the integumentary, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. This course includes a laboratory component in which students are responsible for performing dissections and making original observations on dissected material. The laboratory experience culminates with the use of a plastinated human specimen for observation. A strong background in biology and/or chemistry is highly recommended.

Human Anatomy and Physiology II
This is the second course of a two-semester course sequence in which students study the anatomy and physiology of the human body. The course includes the autonomic nervous system, sensory, motor, and integrative systems, special senses, endocrine system, cardiovascular systems, lymphatic system and immunity, respiratory systems, digestive system, metabolism and nutrition, urinary system and reproductive systems. This course includes a laboratory component in which students are responsible for performing dissections and making original observations on dissected material. The laboratory experience culminates with the use of a plastinated human specimen for observation. Because physiological processes are based on the principles of chemistry, prior chemistry coursework is strongly recommended for this course.

Understand human behavior and social systems, and the principles which govern them

Choose one of the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
PSY 140 Introduction to Psychology 4 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

Overview of the field of psychology, including learning, development, emotion, motivation, personality, abnormal behavior and psychotherapy.

SOC 231 Principles of Sociology 3 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

The discipline and its contributions to understanding the fundamental processes of social interaction. Includes development of self, socialization process, groups and social structure. Application of sociological principles to our society by examination of relevant research.

Understand aesthetic experience and artistic creativity

Choose one of the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
ENG 249 African-American Literature 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Survey of the literature of African-American writers. Emphasis is on the major writers in narrative, poetry, fiction, essay and drama.

HUM 131 Cultural Connections 3 ENG 085 and ENG 091

This interdisciplinary course examines contemporary issues, their human and technological components, and their historical precedents through art, music, literature and philosophy.

RELATED REQUIREMENTS

Take the following

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
DMS 104 Introduction to Sonographic Instrumentation 3 ENG 085* and MAT 131* or higher, plus signed DMS fact sheet (EQV-DMSFS)

In this course students will learn the history and basic principles of static and real-time ultrasound machines. The instrumentation of A-mode and its conversion into the real time B-mode scanners will be explored. Laboratory assignments reinforce learning activities.

HOC 130 Introduction to Health Occupations 3

This course will provide the student with an overview of the health care field. Information that is covered serves as a solid foundation for all students in health sciences or health occupations, regardless of the particular health care profession they are interested in pursuing. Topics include: careers in health care, legal and ethical responsibilities, professionalism, interactions between and reaction of patients in normal and altered states, patient and personal safety and cultural diversity.

MOA 120 Medical Terminology 3 ENG 085*

A programmed learning word building system approach is used to teach basic medical terminology word roots, prefixes, suffixes, language origins, plural formation and grammar rules are studied. Emphasis is placed on word building, definitions, spelling, usage, pronunciation and acceptable medical abbreviations.

PHY 145 Introduction to Basic Physics 2 ENG 085 and MAT 020 or higher.

This course addresses the basic principles of classical physics specifically for the sonography program with a minimal amount of mathematics. The topics covered include motion, mechanics, energy, properties of matter, waves, heat, electricity and magnetism.

CORE REQUIREMENTS

Take the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
DMS 102 Vascular Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology 3

In this course students are introduced to the anatomy of the venous, arterial, microcirculation, and anatomic variants of the body. The abdominal structures associated with the vasculature will also be explored.  In this course students are introduced to normal function of the venous and arterial systems, abnormal mechanisms, risk factors, and indications of arterial and venous disease associated with a range of pathological conditions.

DMS 103 Introduction to Sonographic Reasoning and Research 2

In this course students are introduced to the sonographic reasoning method framework, founded by Steven M. Penny, MA, RT(R), RDMS and Anna Zachariason, BS. Using the analytical framework students will be provided a fundamental approach to critical thinking and problem solving associated with vascular ultrasound examinations. This course explores basic research steps and the importance of contributing to sonography education and becoming lifelong learners. Students will become members of the Society of Vascular Ultrasound and begin exploring the process for writing abstracts and journal articles.

DMS 160 Introduction Vascular Technology and Professional lab Practice 3

In this course students are introduced to and practice the Intercostal Accreditation Commission (IAC) exam testing protocols of the venous duplex obstruction testing, carotid duplex testing (including manual blood pressure measurements) and ABI exam. The routines of the daily lab are simulated using various In-patient scenarios and outpatient scenarios.  Students practice oral communication in a concise, clear and effective manor with students, faculty, and staff. Students actively explore ultrasound equipment and scanning techniques.  The appropriate use of color, pulse-wave Doppler, and gray-scale settings is applied to obtain optimal images and Doppler waveform patterns.  Students are assessed for proper ergonomics while manipulating the transducer and scanning in the transverse to sagittal scan plans. HIPPA, OSHA Universal Precautions, and basic patient transfer techniques are covered and assessed. The affective, cognitive and psychomotor skills are also assessed in this course.

DMS 161 Vascular Clinical I 4

In this course students receive 300-plus hours of supervised clinical experience in an approved vascular laboratory. This course provides hands-on experiences in basic color Doppler imaging (CDI), hemodynamics, segmental pressures and duplex sonography. Students are instructed and supervised by registered vascular technologists. Completion of clinical competencies is required to complete this course.

DMS 202 Basic Cardiovascular Principles, Hemodynamics and Doppler Waveforms 3

In this course students are introduced to math equations and the relationship of variables to the physics of normal and abnormal blood flow patterns. Basic fluid properties of the venous and arterial systems are defined. The Doppler effect and color Doppler imaging are also introduced in this course. The use of the Doppler equation is used to show how the Doppler spectrum is formed. Measurements of the Doppler waveform are covered and artifacts that may occur are explained.

DMS 203 Venous Duplex Testing 3

In this course theories, techniques and venous testing procedures of the lower and upper extremity exams are covered. Other topics will include: differential diagnosis; other imaging modalities; identifying deep vein thrombosis; advanced exploration of venous anatomy and collateral pathways; pathology & pathophysiology; Color Doppler & PW Doppler waveforms techniques & principles; preliminary writing. Assessment of these skills will occur in this didactic course and applied in the clinical course work.

DMS 205 Arterial Duplex and Physiologic Imaging 3

In this course theories, techniques and arterial testing procedures of the lower and upper extremity duplex and physiological exams are covered. Other topics will include: bypass graft imaging; differential diagnosis; other imaging modalities; advanced exploration of arterial anatomy & collateral pathways; pathology & pathophysiology; techniques & principles of color, PW, CW Doppler waveforms; preliminary writing. Assessment of these skills will occur in this didactic course and applied in the clinical course work. 

DMS 206 Sonographic Instrumentation 4

Students explore the mechanics of A-mode, B-mode, M-mode, Doppler, and real time equipment. Accessory equipment such as cameras, transducers, phased, annular and linear arrays, and all types of hard copy documentation instruments are investigated. Multiple methods of preventative maintenance and quality control are presented. Laboratory reinforces learning activities.

DMS 207 Cerebrovascular Procedures (extracranial and intracranial) 3

In this course theories, techniques and testing procedures (imaging and non-imaging) of the extracranial and intracranial exams are covered. Topics will include: differential diagnosis; other imaging modalities; tests of accuracy; advanced exploration of arterial anatomy; collateral pathways; pathology & pathophysiology; techniques & principles of color & PW Doppler waveforms; preliminary writing.  Assessment of these skills will occur in this didactic course and applied in the clinical course work.  

DMS 208 Advanced Imaging (abdominal, post-operative procedures) 3

In this course theories, techniques and testing procedures of the abdomen and post-operative exams are covered. Topics will include: post-operative procedures (abdominal, carotid, lower and upper extremities); abdominal arterial and venous visceral and aortic-iliac arterial disease using duplex ultrasound.  Advanced exploration of abdominal arterial and venous anatomy, pathology & pathophysiology; Color Doppler, PW Doppler waveforms techniques and principles; preliminary writing. Assessment of these skills will occur in this didactic course and applied in the clinical course work.

DMS 209 Capstone 4

In this course is a 7-week learning plan designed to immerse students in lessons of how to learn, apply real-world skills, answer contextual style questions and build a deeper understanding of the arterial and venous vascular system, disease processes, pathology, and pathophysiology.  The full interactive comprehensive-progressive learning plan is designed for various learning styles and is designed to prepare students for the rigors and endurance needed to complete the registry exam. The content on this site follows the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) application and testing outlines.  A preselected exam date is embedded in the learning plan schedule.  Multiple quizzes and a timed computerized, 200 question mock exam are located at the end of the program containing contextual questions and explanation of incorrect answers.

DMS 265 Vascular Clinical II 4

This course is a continuation of DMS 161. Students receive 300 plus hours of supervised clinical experience in an approved vascular laboratory. It also provides hands-on experiences in basic and advanced color Doppler imaging (CDI), hemodynamics, segmental pressures and duplex sonography. Students are instructed and supervised by registered vascular technologists. Completion of clinical competencies required to complete this course.

DMS 266 Vascular Clinical III 4

This course is a continuation of DMS 265. Students receive 300 hours of supervised clinical experience in an approved vascular laboratory. It also provides hands-on experiences in advanced color Doppler imaging (CDI), hemodynamics, segmental pressures and duplex sonography. Students are instructed and supervised by registered vascular technologists. Completion of clinical competencies is required to complete this course.

The following is a sample course map for informational purposes and will not suit every student’s situation. A detailed, individualized course map will be created when a student meets with their Student Success Navigator.

Semester 1
Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
HOC 130 Introduction to Health Occupations 3

This course will provide the student with an overview of the health care field. Information that is covered serves as a solid foundation for all students in health sciences or health occupations, regardless of the particular health care profession they are interested in pursuing. Topics include: careers in health care, legal and ethical responsibilities, professionalism, interactions between and reaction of patients in normal and altered states, patient and personal safety and cultural diversity.

MAT 131 Intermediate Algebra 4 MAT 039*

(FORMERLY MTH 131) This course emphasizes simplifying expressions, solving equations, and graphing functions, including linear, quadratic, polynomial, rational, radical, exponential and logarithmic. Problem solving and mathematical modeling are integrated throughout. Appropriate technology includes a graphing calculator. The mathematics department recommends the prerequisite not be more than two years old. If the prerequisite is more than two years old the recommendation is the course placement assessment be taken or the prerequisite be retaken to ensure the success of the student.

MOA 120 Medical Terminology 3 ENG 085*

A programmed learning word building system approach is used to teach basic medical terminology word roots, prefixes, suffixes, language origins, plural formation and grammar rules are studied. Emphasis is placed on word building, definitions, spelling, usage, pronunciation and acceptable medical abbreviations.

SEM 140 Seminar in Life Pathways 3

Seminar in Life Pathways is a gateway course to Jackson College. This course is designed to help all students develop the skills, inner qualities and external behaviors needed to take charge of their academic and career success. Students will be guided through an extensive process in making career choices and selecting an academic program of study at Jackson College and beyond. With the exception of second-admit programs, SEM 140 is required of all students.

Semester 2
Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
BIO 132 Human Biology 4 ENG 085* and MAT 020* or higher

Students focus on the structure and function of the human body, the unity and diversity of life, the nature of scientific inquiry, and the principles and processes of evolution as well as contemporary issues that relate to biology. Course includes a laboratory component which focuses on human anatomy.

DMS 104 Introduction to Sonographic Instrumentation 3 ENG 085* and MAT 131* or higher, plus signed DMS fact sheet (EQV-DMSFS)

In this course students will learn the history and basic principles of static and real-time ultrasound machines. The instrumentation of A-mode and its conversion into the real time B-mode scanners will be explored. Laboratory assignments reinforce learning activities.

ENG 131 Writing Experience I 3 ENG 085 and ENG 091

This is an intensive writing course. Narrative and descriptive modes are stressed. Basic research strategies are introduced. An end-of-the-semester portfolio is required.

Semester 3
Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
COM 250 Intercultural Communication 3 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

(Students cannot receive credit for both COM 250 and COM 350) This course will explore how diverse cultural orientations influence the way we perceive and interact with an increasingly culturally diverse world. We will discuss the causes of intercultural conflicts in different communication settings (interpersonal, small group, school, workplace and global) and how to manage them effectively.

HUM 131 Cultural Connections 3 ENG 085 and ENG 091

This interdisciplinary course examines contemporary issues, their human and technological components, and their historical precedents through art, music, literature and philosophy.

PHY 145 Introduction to Basic Physics 2 ENG 085 and MAT 020 or higher.

This course addresses the basic principles of classical physics specifically for the sonography program with a minimal amount of mathematics. The topics covered include motion, mechanics, energy, properties of matter, waves, heat, electricity and magnetism.

SOC 231 Principles of Sociology 3 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

The discipline and its contributions to understanding the fundamental processes of social interaction. Includes development of self, socialization process, groups and social structure. Application of sociological principles to our society by examination of relevant research.

Semester 4
Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
DMS 102 Vascular Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology 3

In this course students are introduced to the anatomy of the venous, arterial, microcirculation, and anatomic variants of the body. The abdominal structures associated with the vasculature will also be explored.  In this course students are introduced to normal function of the venous and arterial systems, abnormal mechanisms, risk factors, and indications of arterial and venous disease associated with a range of pathological conditions.

DMS 103 Introduction to Sonographic Reasoning and Research 2

In this course students are introduced to the sonographic reasoning method framework, founded by Steven M. Penny, MA, RT(R), RDMS and Anna Zachariason, BS. Using the analytical framework students will be provided a fundamental approach to critical thinking and problem solving associated with vascular ultrasound examinations. This course explores basic research steps and the importance of contributing to sonography education and becoming lifelong learners. Students will become members of the Society of Vascular Ultrasound and begin exploring the process for writing abstracts and journal articles.

DMS 202 Basic Cardiovascular Principles, Hemodynamics and Doppler Waveforms 3

In this course students are introduced to math equations and the relationship of variables to the physics of normal and abnormal blood flow patterns. Basic fluid properties of the venous and arterial systems are defined. The Doppler effect and color Doppler imaging are also introduced in this course. The use of the Doppler equation is used to show how the Doppler spectrum is formed. Measurements of the Doppler waveform are covered and artifacts that may occur are explained.

semester 5
Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
DMS 160 Introduction Vascular Technology and Professional lab Practice 3

In this course students are introduced to and practice the Intercostal Accreditation Commission (IAC) exam testing protocols of the venous duplex obstruction testing, carotid duplex testing (including manual blood pressure measurements) and ABI exam. The routines of the daily lab are simulated using various In-patient scenarios and outpatient scenarios.  Students practice oral communication in a concise, clear and effective manor with students, faculty, and staff. Students actively explore ultrasound equipment and scanning techniques.  The appropriate use of color, pulse-wave Doppler, and gray-scale settings is applied to obtain optimal images and Doppler waveform patterns.  Students are assessed for proper ergonomics while manipulating the transducer and scanning in the transverse to sagittal scan plans. HIPPA, OSHA Universal Precautions, and basic patient transfer techniques are covered and assessed. The affective, cognitive and psychomotor skills are also assessed in this course.

DMS 161 Vascular Clinical I 4

In this course students receive 300-plus hours of supervised clinical experience in an approved vascular laboratory. This course provides hands-on experiences in basic color Doppler imaging (CDI), hemodynamics, segmental pressures and duplex sonography. Students are instructed and supervised by registered vascular technologists. Completion of clinical competencies is required to complete this course.

DMS 203 Venous Duplex Testing 3

In this course theories, techniques and venous testing procedures of the lower and upper extremity exams are covered. Other topics will include: differential diagnosis; other imaging modalities; identifying deep vein thrombosis; advanced exploration of venous anatomy and collateral pathways; pathology & pathophysiology; Color Doppler & PW Doppler waveforms techniques & principles; preliminary writing. Assessment of these skills will occur in this didactic course and applied in the clinical course work.

DMS 205 Arterial Duplex and Physiologic Imaging 3

In this course theories, techniques and arterial testing procedures of the lower and upper extremity duplex and physiological exams are covered. Other topics will include: bypass graft imaging; differential diagnosis; other imaging modalities; advanced exploration of arterial anatomy & collateral pathways; pathology & pathophysiology; techniques & principles of color, PW, CW Doppler waveforms; preliminary writing. Assessment of these skills will occur in this didactic course and applied in the clinical course work. 

Semester 6
Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
DMS 206 Sonographic Instrumentation 4

Students explore the mechanics of A-mode, B-mode, M-mode, Doppler, and real time equipment. Accessory equipment such as cameras, transducers, phased, annular and linear arrays, and all types of hard copy documentation instruments are investigated. Multiple methods of preventative maintenance and quality control are presented. Laboratory reinforces learning activities.

DMS 207 Cerebrovascular Procedures (extracranial and intracranial) 3

In this course theories, techniques and testing procedures (imaging and non-imaging) of the extracranial and intracranial exams are covered. Topics will include: differential diagnosis; other imaging modalities; tests of accuracy; advanced exploration of arterial anatomy; collateral pathways; pathology & pathophysiology; techniques & principles of color & PW Doppler waveforms; preliminary writing.  Assessment of these skills will occur in this didactic course and applied in the clinical course work.  

DMS 265 Vascular Clinical II 4

This course is a continuation of DMS 161. Students receive 300 plus hours of supervised clinical experience in an approved vascular laboratory. It also provides hands-on experiences in basic and advanced color Doppler imaging (CDI), hemodynamics, segmental pressures and duplex sonography. Students are instructed and supervised by registered vascular technologists. Completion of clinical competencies required to complete this course.

Semester 7
Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
DMS 208 Advanced Imaging (abdominal, post-operative procedures) 3

In this course theories, techniques and testing procedures of the abdomen and post-operative exams are covered. Topics will include: post-operative procedures (abdominal, carotid, lower and upper extremities); abdominal arterial and venous visceral and aortic-iliac arterial disease using duplex ultrasound.  Advanced exploration of abdominal arterial and venous anatomy, pathology & pathophysiology; Color Doppler, PW Doppler waveforms techniques and principles; preliminary writing. Assessment of these skills will occur in this didactic course and applied in the clinical course work.

DMS 209 Capstone 4

In this course is a 7-week learning plan designed to immerse students in lessons of how to learn, apply real-world skills, answer contextual style questions and build a deeper understanding of the arterial and venous vascular system, disease processes, pathology, and pathophysiology.  The full interactive comprehensive-progressive learning plan is designed for various learning styles and is designed to prepare students for the rigors and endurance needed to complete the registry exam. The content on this site follows the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) application and testing outlines.  A preselected exam date is embedded in the learning plan schedule.  Multiple quizzes and a timed computerized, 200 question mock exam are located at the end of the program containing contextual questions and explanation of incorrect answers.

DMS 266 Vascular Clinical III 4

This course is a continuation of DMS 265. Students receive 300 hours of supervised clinical experience in an approved vascular laboratory. It also provides hands-on experiences in advanced color Doppler imaging (CDI), hemodynamics, segmental pressures and duplex sonography. Students are instructed and supervised by registered vascular technologists. Completion of clinical competencies is required to complete this course.