Clark State diagnostic medical sonography program awarded initial accreditation

Clark State College’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography – Obstetrics and Gynecology program has been awarded initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS), which is the non-invasive use of high frequency sound waves to image anatomic structures within the body, is an abdominal, obstetrics, gynecology and vascular ultrasound program.

Getting this accreditation has been a group effort with many individuals at the college and in the community, said Megan Platfoot, program director.

“Accreditation through CAAHEP will open the door for many more opportunities for our students before and after graduation. I look forward to continuing in my role as program coordinator as we help bring the next generation of sonographers to the workforce,” she said.

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The recent peer review, conducted by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS) and CAAHEP’s Board of Directors, recognized the program’s compliance with the nationally established accreditation standards.

“The accreditation is external recognition that our DMS program is a quality program for our students and is based on a review of the program as it currently stands,” said Rhoda Sommers, dean of health, human and public services.

Sommers added that employers in the region have been supportive of the program, and one of the current students was hired as a “student sonographer” over the summer and has already signed on for a full-time position after graduation in December.

Sonographers are specially trained individuals who work under the close supervision of radiologists, cardiologists and vascular surgeons to help them in determining a medical diagnosis and treatment plan for patients. They are responsible for acquiring diagnostic images of normal and abnormal structures and report findings to the supervising physician.

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The program combines didactic and clinical learning experiences that are within the legal scope of responsibility of sonographers. The college accepts a limited number of DMS students per year with technical classes beginning each fall.

After graduation, sonographers may be employed by hospitals, private physician practices, diagnostic imaging centers, research departments and ultrasound machine manufactures.

Platfood said the accreditation ensures the college is providing the best DMS program for its students and the community.

“We will continue to provide the best education for our DMS students and to work closely with our clinical affiliates to help bring more sonographers to the workforce,” she said.

For more information, visit the college’s website under academics, degrees and certificates, school of health, human and public services, then diagnostic medical sonography.

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