Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Vascular

Diagnostic Medical Sonography, commonly called ultrasound, is a diagnostic medical procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to produce medical images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body.

The profession of diagnostic medical sonography includes general sonography, cardiac sonography, vascular technology, and various subspecialties. The profession requires critical thinking and good judgment to provide appropriate health care services. Sonographers/vascular technologists are highly skilled professionals qualified by education to provide patient services using diagnostic techniques under the supervision of a physician. Although most sonographers work in hospital based medical imaging departments performing abdominal, pelvic and vascular examinations or cardiology departments performing cardiac and vascular examinations, sonographers are also employed in dedicated vascular departments or obstetric departments, where specialized ultrasound examinations are performed, and many sonographers work outpatient clinics and mobile imaging services.

Prospective Students

Admission to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Vascular Technology Program is a two-step process:

1. Apply for admission to the college

2. Petition for entry into the DMS Core Clinical Courses  You must first be admitted to the college before you can petition.  After admission to the college, students interested in beginning the core courses in the DMS program must petition during specified petition dates.  All students MUST attend a petition information meeting for the year petitioning.  Students will not be eligible to petition unless they have attended a meeting.  The meetings will highlight the new DMS selection process and will be conducted by DMS and Student Services staff.

 Courses Required Prior to Beginning the Petitioning Process:

General Anatomy and Physiology

Written Communications

Intermediate Algebra (or upper-level college mathematics course)

Survey of Physics (or radiography physics)

Medical Terminology


Other General Education Courses Required for Degree Completion:

Advanced Anatomy and Physiology

Oral/Intrapersonal Communications

Introduction to Sociology

Introduction to Psychology


Patient Care Training Education Required Prior to
Beginning the Petition Process:


Though not a complete list, the following are acceptable training programs:


Radiography                                    Physical Therapist Assistant    

Paramedic                                        Respiratory Therapist Assistant   

Registered Nurse                           Occupational Therapist Assistant 

Licensed Practical Nurse              Nursing Assistant

Though not a complete list, the following DO NOT satisfy
            the patient training requirement:

Surgical Technician                        Chiropractic Radiographer

Dental Assistant                              Dental Hygienist

EKG Technician                               Health Unit Coordinator

EMT (First Responder)                   EEG Technician 

Medical Assistant                            Sleep Study Technician 

Clinical Lab Technician                  Laboratory Technician

Phlebotomy Assistant                 


Program Mission

The mission of the Blackhawk Technical College Associate Degree Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Vascular Technology Program is to prepare competent entry-level general sonographers and entry-level vascular technologists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.  The didactic and clinical education, as well as the critical thinking framework presented to the students will prepare them to apply for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography examinations in Abdomen, Obstetrical/Gynecological and Vascular Technology, as well as their SPI examination.

Program Goal

The Goal of the Blackhawk Technical College Associate Degree Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Vascular Technology Program is to fulfill the program mission through the achievement of the Program Outcomes which are defined and method of assessment in the DMS program handbook.