By Anne Francomano/ tr news editor

Program director Jacqueline Bennett prepares for the opening of TR’s new health sciences offering diagnostic medical sonography. Applications are due May 15.
Peter Matthews/The Collegian

The May 15 application deadline for TCC’s new diagnostic medical sonography program is just around the corner. The TR health professions division will select 12 applicants for fall admission.

Diagnostic medical sonographers use ultrasound equipment to create images of what is inside the human body, such as internal organs and blood flow, that are otherwise obscured. This non-invasive procedure is widely used in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions. Sonographers also analyze the images, providing a summary of findings for physicians. Primary employers are hospitals and physician offices.

Two pathways are available. Students with no prior experience will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in diagnostic medical sonography while radiological technologists will obtain an advanced technical certification in diagnostic medical sonography. Independent of the pathway, all admitted students will attend the five-semester program as one cohesive unit and graduate together in 2019.

The program is designed to educate future sonographers in general and vascular concentrations and ensure they develop vital nontechnical skills.

“The goal is for graduates to be competent in sonography, have strong critical thinking skills and compassion for their patients, staff and co-workers,” diagnostic medical sonography program director Jacqueline Bennett said.

In addition to core sonography principles and instrumentation, clinical hours to gain real-world experience are an integral part of each semester. The required 1,664 clinical hours are distributed across the abdominal, OB-GYN and vascular areas.

“The number of clinical hours in the TCC program is on the higher end of what is required for the average sonography program,” Bennett said.

TCC has launched the diagnostic medical sonography program both in response to student interest and to meet a national and local industry need for sonographers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth rate for sonographers through 2024 is greater than the average growth rate across all occupations.

The successful student in this type of program tends to be proactive about growing beyond academics.

“Students should have a drive to continue growing professionally and develop a desire to give back to the community,” Bennett said.

Those interested in applying can attend an information session at 5 p.m. on either April 26 or May 11 in TRHA 1050 on TRE. Seating is limited to the first 100 people.

Applicants should contact TR career and technical education academic advisor Cal Quigley at 817-515-2472 or cal.quigley@tccd.edu. Program details are also available online at https://www.tccd.edu/academics/tcc-catalog/courses-and-programs/diagnostic-medical-sonography/.