Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program FAQ

Question 1:  What is Sonography?

Ultrasonography, commonly called Sonography, is a Diagnostic Medical Procedure that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce dynamic visual images or organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body. Sonography can be used to examine many parts of the body, such as the abdomen, breasts, female reproductive system, heart and blood vessels.

The process involves placing a small device called a transducer against the patient’s skin near the body part to be imaged. The transducer works like a loudspeaker and microphone because it can both transmit and receive sound. The transducer sends a stream of high frequency sound waves into the body that bounces off the structures inside. The transducer detects sound waves as they bounce off the internal structures. Different structures of the body reflect these sound waves differently. These sounds are analyzed by a computer to make an image of the structure(s) on a television screen or that can be recorded on videotape.

Question 2:  What does a Sonographer do?

Sonographers are non-physician professionals who perform ultrasound procedures. Sonographers who specialize in imaging and tests of blood vessels are known as vascular technologists. A diagnostic Medical Sonographer is a highly-skilled professional who uses specialized equipment to create images of structures inside the human body that are used by physicians to make a medical diagnosis. Sonographers have extensive, direct patient contact that may include performing some invasive procedures. They must be able to interact compassionately and effectively with people who range from healthy to critically ill.

There are several areas of specialization in the field of Sonography:

  • Abdomen
    • Evaluation of all the soft tissues, blood vessels and organs of the abdominal cavities) for example: Liver, spleen urinary tract, pancreas).
  • Breast
    •  Frequently used to evaluate breast abnormalities that are found with screening or diagnostic mammography.
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology
    • Evaluation of the female reproductive system.
  • Vascular Technology
    • Evaluation and analysis of the hemodynamics (blood flow) of peripheral and abdominal blood vessels.
  • Neurosonography
    • Evaluation of the brain and spinal cord
  • Echocardiography
    • Evaluation of the anatomy and hemodynamics (blood flow) of the heart, its valves and related blood vessels.
  • Musculoskeletal Sonography
    • Evaluation of the anatomy of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, hip, know, ankle and foot, and soft tissue.

Question 3:  Is there a waiting list to be admitted and how many students are admitted each year?

We do not have a wait list for admission into our program. We use the program Selection Criteria as a guide to accept students when there are more applicants than seats available. Currently we can allow up to 16 students in the program. 

Question 4:  What is the schedule for the program and where is it located?

This five-semester program is offered on the Melbourne Campus and begins each Fall (August) term and runs every semester until the program is complete.

Clinical sites are utilized for the Practicum experience and it will be the student's responsibility to secure transportation to and from the assigned site. Students will follow a set course sequence within the program.

Question 5:  What classes should I have completed before program start?

Please see the SELECTION CRITERIA for courses that affect program entry (must be completed before the deadline for points).

Question 6:  When will I know if I've been selected for admission to the program?

After the application deadline, all complete application folders will be submitted to the Selection Committee.  All applicants will be notified by mail of their acceptance status 4-6 weeks after the deadline.

Question 7:  Is professional support required during the program?

As a student in Eastern Florida State College's Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, you will be immediately introduced to the following professional association: Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) www.sdms.org  Paid membership in this association is mandatory throughout the program. Benefits include access to industry-related information, special discounts, networking opportunities and additional tools to help you meet your career goals in the Sonography profession.

Question 8:  What are the career opportunities?

Sonographers can choose to work in clinics, hospitals, private practice physician offices, public health facilities, laboratories and other medical settings performing examinations in their areas of specialization. Career advancement opportunities exist in education, administration, research and in commercial companies as education/application specialists, sales representatives, technical advisors, etc.

Question 9:  Is EFSC's Diagnostic Medical Sonography program accredited?

Yes, EFSC's Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP number 110324) and by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC): American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART number 3161).