Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) is statistically proven to be one of the most-coveted professions in the United States today. In response, various academic institutions—from community colleges to large universities—have wielded much effort into developing their programs. The Seattle University, Bellevue College, Tacoma and Spokane Community Colleges in Washington best exemplify this.
Program Descriptions and Details
Generally, all sonography courses offered by the aforementioned schools are specially structured to produce graduates who are geared up for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers national certification exam. However, they vary mainly in terms of program types and levels.
For instance, Seattle University offers the Diagnostic Ultrasound program in three categories: the 2-year Program of Study for Junior Transfer Students, a 4-year Program for General Vascular Students, and 4-year Program for Cardiac Vascular Students. Graduates of the program will receive a Bachelor of Science degree.
On the other hand, those who finish a DMS course at Spokane and Tacoma Community Colleges will be granted an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Tacoma enrollees are basically trained for general sonography but a post-graduate training course is always available for those who opt to specialize in the vascular and cardiac department.
Similarly, Bellevue College’s Health Sciences, Education & Wellness Institute offers a Diagnostic Ultrasound course that leads to an Associate in Arts degree.
Like in most DMS programs all over the country, all four schools require applicants to have already finished full coursework in Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Terminology, English, Math and Physics.
The Bellevue College, however, has recently launched a couple of prerequisite changes beginning Fall 2013. As announced, their DMS program now follows two pathways of prerequisites. In Pathway A, enrollees are required a number of credits in a lower Math course and Biomedical Ethics. The policy will be abolished though by the end of the Fall 2013 class. Pathway B—which will be required to all DMS applicants beginning Fall 2014—will no longer include Biomedical Ethics but a higher math instead.
Each of these Washington schools prides themselves in the quality of their ultrasound programs as evidenced by their longevity in the education industry.
Established in 1965, Tacoma Community College promises their AAS degree holders earning potentials that are higher than those with a high school diploma or GED. In addition, the college’s programs are well-guided by over 140 local business professionals, thereby ensuring career placements.
Bellevue College breaks new ground with its Bachelor of Science degree in radiation and imaging. It is claimed to be the first of its kind in the state.
Spokane Community College is not to be outdone either as it is awarded as center of excellence for allied health. On top of that, its Allied Health Division is the biggest in the entire state.
And speaking of ranks, Seattle University is consistently listed among the top ten universities in the West.
All these being said, aspiring sonographers in Washington will definitely have a tough time deciding on which college to pick.