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School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography – General Concentration

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Program Information

The School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography at Grady Health System began in 1991. The School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography has several affiliate clinical sites where student training is enhanced through exposure to many diverse patients, various equipment, and a variety of examination types. This specialized program prepares the graduate for a rewarding career in diagnostic medical sonography in the areas of Abdomen and OB/GYN.

The course of study in General Concentration awards a certificate from Grady Health System upon graduation. Students who satisfactorily complete the program fulfill the requirements to become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The student may sit for the Sonography Physics and Instrumentation ARDMS exam upon completion of a physics course. The OB/Gyn and Abdominal ARDMS specialty exams may be taken up to 60 days prior to graduation. The credential of RDMS is valid upon completion of all program requirements and graduation.

This advanced-level program is a full-time, daytime program lasting 18 months. Classes are limited in size. Admission to this program is competitive. The number of students accepted is dependent on the availability of clinical sites. Currently, 14 students may be accepted every 18 months. (Gainful Employment Disclosure)

The School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography is an advanced program and is:

  • Full-time
  • Daytime program
  • 18 months in length
  • 14 students are accepted every two years

Mission

The mission of the School of Diagnostic is to provide a quality education that actively engages the student in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences that will prepare the student to challenge the national certification examination.

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Goals and Learning Outcomes

The goal of the School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography is to prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

Learning Outcome 1: Students will be clinically competent.

  1. Students will apply principles of patient safety in using acoustic energy as low as reasonably achievable during sonographic exam.
  2. Students will apply knowledge of sonographic procedures.
  3. Students will provide appropriate patient care.

Learning Outcome 2: Students will communicate effectively.

  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of patient communication skills.
  2. Students will demonstrate effective oral communication.
  3. Students will demonstrate effective written communication skills.

Learning Outcome 3: Students will use critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

  1. Students will identify ethical dilemmas.
  2. Students will demonstrate critical thinking and decision-making skills.
  3. Students will adapt procedures for non-routine exams and emergent patient conditions.

Learning Outcome 4: Students will demonstrate professional development and growth consistent with program mission and expected outcomes.

  1. Students will demonstrate a professional work ethic.
  2. Students will demonstrate dependability.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to function as team player.
Program Effectiveness Measurements
  1. Graduates will pass the SPI and one specialty ARDMS certification exams no later than 1 year from graduation.
  2. Graduates will complete the program within 18 months.
  3. Of those pursuing employment, graduates will be employed within 12 months post-graduation.
  4. Graduates will be satisfied with their education.
  5. Employers will be satisfied with the graduate’s education.

See our Program Effectiveness Data

Clinical Education

A student spends 3 days per week in the clinical setting. Students rotate through diagnostic abdominal imaging areas, perinatal departments, and pediatric imaging departments in several affiliate sites in the Atlanta area. Students must dress in the approved uniform attire during classes and clinical rotations. Clinical assignments occur during the day shift.

Travel distances from Grady Memorial Hospital:

  • Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding – 35 Jesse Hill Jr Drive, SE, Atlanta, GA 30303 – one block from Grady Memorial Hospital
  • Emory Perinatal Center – 2675 North Decatur Road, Suite 408, Decatur, GA 30033 – 8 miles
  • Emory University Hospital Midtown – 550 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30308 – 1.5 miles
  • Emory University Hospital – 1364 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30322 – 5.9 miles
  • Emory University Hospital – Outpatient Clinic (The Emory Clinic) – 1365 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30322 – 5.9 miles
  • Grady Memorial Hospital – Inpatient, Outpatient, & Breast Center – 80 Jesse Hill Jr. Dr. SE – 0 miles
  • Grady Memorial Hospital – Perinatal Center – 80 Jesse Hill Jr. Dr. SE – 0 miles
  • Kaiser Permanente-Southwood – 2400 Mt Zion Pkwy, Jonesboro, GA 30236 – 17.4 miles
  • Northside Hospital – 1000 Johnson Ferry Rd. Atlanta, GA 30342 – 13.0 miles
  • Northside Hospital – Maternal Fetal Medicine – 980 Johnson Ferry Rd. Atlanta, GA 30342 – 13.0 miles
  • Piedmont Hospital Atlanta – 1968 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30309 – 5.8 miles
  • Piedmont Hospital Henry – 1133 Eagles Landing Pkwy, Stockbridge, GA, 30281 – 23.3 miles
Grading Policy

The following grading system is used:

A – Excellent 90 – 100%
B – Good 80 – 89%
C – Fair 75 – 79%
D – Poor 70 – 74%
F – Failure  below 70%

Students receive an academic and clinical transcript at the end of each semester. Academic and clinical grades are listed separately, are weighted by credit hours, and are averaged for the semester GPA. Students are counseled individually concerning academic and clinical training on a weekly, monthly, or semester basis as needed.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, a student must have successfully completed both the academic and clinical portions of the course of study.

Successful completion of the academic and clinical portions requires the following criteria to be met:

  1. A final accumulative average of 75% must be obtained considering all courses studied.
  2. A score of 75% or better must be obtained in a comprehensive final examination in Registry Review in Sonographic Physics; Obstetrical and Gynecological Sonography; and Abdominal Sonography.
  3. Successful completion of all required clinical hours within the program.
  4. Successful completion of all clinical competencies and required clinical hours.

Upon completion of all prescribed courses with satisfactory scholastic standing, each graduate will be awarded a certificate from Grady Health System.

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Accreditation

The School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography is an accredited program in the General Concentration approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs through review by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Successful completion of a CAAHEP-accredited program assures that students are provided the knowledge, skills, and professional values required for career success.

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL, 33763
(727) 210-2350
www.caahep.org

Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
6021 University Boulevard, Suite 500
Ellicott City, MD 21043
(443) 973-3251
www.jrcdms.org

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Admission Requirements

The School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography offers equal educational opportunities to students regardless of race, creed, color, sex, age, handicap, religion, or national origin.

 

    1. Minimum age of 18 years.
    1. Transfer credits, for sonography-specific courses, from other Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs will not be accepted.  Advanced placement is not available.
    2. One of the following criteria must be met and submitted for one of these critical test scores:  SAT, ACT, Compass, ASSETT Exam, ACCUPLACER, or ACCUPLACER Next Generation requirement:
      1. Scholastic Aptitude Reasoning Test (SAT I): minimum math and critical reading (verbal) total score of 830 (writing section not included)
      2. American College Test (ACT): minimum composite score of 17
      3. Compass: minimum reading score of 74 or minimum writing/English score of 42; minimum math score of 37
      4. Accuplacer: minimum reading score of 61; minimum Elementary Algebra Score of 67
      5. Accuplacer Next Generation: minimum reading score of 237, and math (QAS) score of 258.
      6. Asset: minimum reading score of 40; minimum math score of 40
    1. College-level courses must be completed at an accredited college with a minimum grade of “C” or 2.0 in each course and a minimum overall college GPA of 2.5.
      Courses excluded from consideration are:
  1. Remedial courses
  2. Developmental studies courses
  3. Courses with essentially non-academic content (orientation, career courses, etc.)
  4. Non-transferable courses (grades of “D” or lower)
    1. A status of good standing (not on probation, suspension, or expulsion) at the last institution attended.
    1. Documented health-related experience by written verification of formal clinical education in a health-related profession, volunteerism in a healthcare setting, and/or shadowing in a sonography setting is preferred when possible.
    2. Completion of prerequisite courses at a regionally accredited United States post-secondary institution (University, College, or Technical College) MUST include the following 8 courses regardless of other background education or experience:

8 REQUIRED PREREQUISITE COLLEGE COURSES:

  1. Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  2. Human Anatomy and Physiology II
  3. Physics
  4. Communications or Speech
  5. Information Technology (Introduction to Computers)
  6. Psychology
  7. Introductory Statistics
  8. Algebra or a higher-level mathematics
  1. Postsecondary education must be from an institution accredited by one of the following entities:

 

  • Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS)
  • Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools of Middle States Association of College and Schools (MSA-CESS)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and Senior College Commission (SCC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
  • Council on Occupational Training (COE)
  • Distance Education and Training Council Accrediting Commission (DETC)
  • National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS)
  • Association for Biblical Higher Education Commission on Accreditation
  • Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools Accreditation Commission
  • Commission on Accrediting of Association of Theological Schools
  • Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
  • Conjoint Accreditation Services of the Canadian Medical Association
  • Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia (MRPBA)
  • National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS)
  1. Applicants that meet all requirements for the program are invited for a personal interview.

 

International Students

An applicant will be classified as an “International Student” if the school credentials he/she submits for evaluation are from schools or colleges outside of the United States.

Learn more about International Students Admission Requirements

 

Please direct admission questions to:

Malon Brown, BS

Student Admission Coordinator

[email protected]

(404) 616-3610

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Application Process

The Sonography program begins only one time every 24 months. Online applications are accepted at any time.  The next class will begin in August 2023. The application deadline is April 30, 2023.

Procedure

  1. Apply online and pay the $35.00 nonrefundable application fee
  2. Applicants must submit the following to the School: 
  1. Application portfolio documents
    1. All official transcripts
      1. Official transcripts of courses completed in all colleges or other postsecondary programs of study.
    1. Critical Test Scores
      1. A college entrance test is required. Official transcripts of the critical test must be submitted directly to the school: Scholastic Aptitude Reasoning Test (SAT I), American College Test (ACT), Compass, Accuplacer, Accuplacer Generation Next and/or Asset. Grady Health System’s SAT code is 5263 and the ACT code is 5329.
      2. Score and proof of any current national certification, if applicable.
      3. TOEFL score, if applicable (see International Student Requirements).
    2. Military discharge papers (DD214), if applicable.
    3. References

The applicant must provide names and email addresses for four (4) references who have supervised the applicant a minimum of six months in an evaluating position (such as supervisors, educators, etc.). Friends, relatives, clergy, and co-workers are not acceptable references. The applicant should contact references prior to submission of application.

    1. Documentation of patient care experience, if applicable.

A completed application portfolio consists of the application, application fee, official SAT I, ACT, Compass, Accuplacer, Accuplacer Next Generation, or Asset scores, all official university, college, and/or technical college transcripts, documentation of any current certifications with scores, and other supporting data (references, military discharge, etc.).

Incomplete applications will be disqualified.  The application and pre-entrance requirements will not be returned to the applicant, nor forwarded to another institution.

Applicants that qualify for the program will be invited for a personal interview.

Notices of acceptance or rejection will be emailed the week following the Admissions Committee meeting.  Notices are given by email only.

Admission to the school is competitive and the Admissions Committee reserves the right, in every case, to accept or reject any applicant based on previous academic performance, motivation, personality, or health and character as determined by the application process, interview, review of academic and sociological data, references, and investigation.

All correspondence and inquiries pertaining to applications should be directed to the attention of the:

Admissions Office
Malon Brown, BS
Schools of Radiation and Imaging Technologies
Grady Health System
80 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SE – P.O. Box 26095
Atlanta, GA 30303-3050
[email protected]
(404) 616-3610

Technical Standards – ADA Compliance

ARDMS Compliance Predetermination Review for Felony or Misdemeanor Conviction

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Accepted Applicants

Upon acceptance, the applicant must complete and submit by program deadline date:

  1. Physical examination and immunizations to include documentation of:
  • MMRvaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) Must have oneof the following:
    • Documentation of 2 doses after 1stbirthday and separated by at least 28 days
    • Laboratory evidence of immunity by positive measles titer, positive mumps titer, and positive rubella titer
  • Tdapvaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) booster must be given within the past 10 years
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine (series of 3 and titer results drawn after 3rddose)
  • Varicella vaccine (2 doses) and/or positive titer
  • COVID-19 vaccine and boosters
  • PPD (TB screening) within last 30 days prior to enrollment, any one of the following to documents accepted:
    • Negative Quantiferon Gold blood test
    • For history of positive TB test, latent TB infection or TB disease, must have negative chest x-ray. If student has had TB disease, medical evaluation and documentation that student has been treated for TB disease is required. After initial TB testing is completed, students should receive follow-up TB testing annually consisting of a T.SPOT or a Quantiferon Gold Test.

Immunization requirements are subject to change by Grady Health System and/or Clinical affiliates at any time.

  1. Three separate Background check and drug screens performed through AdvantageStudents and Symplr.
  2. Proof of professional liability insurance as a Diagnostic Medical Sonography Student, prior to enrollment, which documents coverage for first year of enrollment (must be renewed before end of first year).
  3. Current CPR (BLS for Healthcare Provider) documentation. If BLS for Healthcare Provider is expired or needed, submit documentation of completion for Part I of the American Heart Association BLS for Healthcare Providers online training module and Part II will be scheduled for completion with school faculty at the school.
  4. Any on-line hospital or clinical site orientations assigned by the school.

Background Check – Drug Screen Policy

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Faculty

Program Director:
Donna McNeil, MSEd, RDMS, RVT
[email protected]
(404) 616-5032

 

Sonography Training Coordinator:
Khristine Simmons, BSc, RDMS, RT(R)
[email protected]
(404) 616-3611

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Tuition and Fees

Tuition
Sonography Tuition: $2,610/semester (5 semesters)
Fees
3 Drug Screen & Background Checks:

Advantage Students 1

Advantage Students 2

Symplr

 

1) $78.50 *base fee

2) $78.50 *base fee

3) $49

*May be higher if student lived in another state or country

Professional Liability Insurance $37.00 – 220.00 per year
Graduation Fee $180.00 (prorated at $36 paid each semester)
Online Record Keeping System $150 (one-time fee)
Technology Fee $50.00/semester
CPR (Heart Code – BLS) Online Training Module $31.00
Uniform Scrub Top and Pants
(5 sets recommended)
approximately $35.00/set
Uniform Shoes
(2 pairs recommended)
approximately $60.00/pair
Books, supplies, computer software, etc. approximately $800

 

Grady Parking  

Grady Parking at Pete Hackney lot – free, subject to change

 

*Some off campus clinical sites require a parking fee, which is the responsibility of the student.

ARDMS Credential exam fees: SPI – $225 (sitting for the Sonographic Physics and Instrumentation exam is required before beginning the 5th semester)
Completing ARDMS specialty exams prior to graduation is encouraged: Abdomen – $250
OB/Gyn – $250

All prices subject to change

 

Net Price Calculator

Financial Aid

Tuition Refund Policy

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Student Services

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Financial Aid

Financial Aid programs available to students are:

  • Federal Pell Grant: Pell Grants are for eligible undergraduate students who do not have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Subsidized Federal Direct Loan: The Subsidized Federal Direct Loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. The interest is subsidized by the Federal government while the student is in school.
  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan: The Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed.
  • Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS): PLUS loans are made to parents of dependent undergraduate students. There are no income restrictions for these loans.
  • Veteran’s Educational Benefits: Students who are eligible may receive Veterans Educational Benefits from the Veterans Administration.
Employee Wellness Center

The exercise facility located in the Brian Jordan/Steve Atwater Employee Wellness Center located on the 16th floor of the hospital is available for use by employees and students.

Parking

When parking at Grady, students are assigned to the Pete Hackney lot. The Pete Hackney lot is free of charge and parking is subject to change.

Parking fees associated with clinical education rotation assignments are the responsibility of the student.

Health Services

Employee Health Services (EHS) is available for TB screening, flu shots, Covid vaccines and boosters, and/or completion of Hepatitis B vaccine series, post needle stick reporting, and exposures to infectious diseases (all at no cost). For outpatient clinic or Emergency Department visits, the student is expected to pay for services or show proof of health insurance.

Computers and Software Tutorials

There are computers for student use in the school building. Software tutorials are maintained and loaned through school offices.

Libraries

School Library
The School library is located in the school building. Textbooks and other learning resources belonging to the Schools of Radiologic Technology, Radiation Therapy, and Diagnostic Medical Sonography are housed in this area. The most current editions of Sonography books and learning resources are located in the sonography classroom.

Lockers

Lockers for books and personal items are available for student use in the third floor locker rooms. Students must provide their own padlock. Lockers must be shared.

Uniforms

Students are required to wear uniform scrub attire. The uniform scrubs are embroidered with a school logo and are ordered through a local vendor.

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