UW-Milwaukee Diagnostic Medical
Sonography Program


Our Program

This program encompasses the professional/clinical training portion of the diagnostic medical sonography (DMS) submajor. Admittance into the professional/clinical training portion is competitive and not guaranteed. This program is rigorous, labor intensive, and requires more time and commitment than many other areas of study. Students are typically in class two days a week and in clinical three days a week, and can expect to spend 40 hours per week in class and clinical. Clinical rotations are 8 hours in length. The 40 hour per week time commitment does not include time required for travel and studying. Students are expected to be available for learning experiences Monday through Saturday, throughout the academic year. Students in the diagnostic medical sonography program are strongly encouraged to limit employment and/or involvement in non-student related activities. Students that take on too many responsibilities have the potential of increasing the risk of failure in the diagnostic medical sonography program.

Two sonography programs are offered: General/Vascular and Echocardiography (Cardiac/Pediatric Cardiac). These 4 learning concentrations are accredited by CAAHEP. Enrolled students have clinical rotations in the greater Milwaukee area and Chicago, Illinois. Students who are enrolled in the DMS program attend assigned clinical sites in one of these cities. Students enrolled in the Echocardiography (Cardiac/Pediatric Cardiac) program complete their courses online. Students enrolled in the General/Vascular program have courses that are designed as hybrid and online courses. All enrolled students are required to come to campus at scheduled times during the 24 months for labs and other educational events. Online courses may require students to participate in synchronized class sessions via Skype, Google Plus, etc. At this time our program is not designed so that students can complete courses online and attend clinical training at a site of their choosing. Credit is not awarded within the professional curriculum for experiential learning.

For more information, please call Program Director Amanda Smith, MS, RDMS, RVT, RT(R) at (414) 229-6286.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography - The Role of the Sonographer

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) provides the following occupational and job descriptions for diagnostic medical songraphy:

Occupational Description

The diagnostic medical sonographer provides patient services using medical ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves that produce images of internal structures). Working under the supervision of a physician responsible for the use and interpretation of ultrasound procedures, the sonographer helps gather sonographic data to diagnose a variety of conditions and diseases, as well as monitor fetal development.

Job Description

The sonographer provides patient services in a variety of medical settings in which the physician is responsible for the use and interpretation of ultrasound procedures. In assisting physicians in gathering sonographic data, the diagnostic medical sonographer is able to obtain, review, and integrate pertinent patient history and supporting clinical data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results; perform appropriate procedures and record anatomical, pathological, and/or physiological data for interpretation by a physician; record and process sonographic data and other pertinent observations made during the procedure for presentation to the interpreting physician; exercise discretion and judgment in the performance of sonographic services; provide patient education related to medical ultrasound; and promote principles of good health.

Career Advancement

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

Technical Standards- Physical Requirements

Applicants should be aware that Diagnostic Medical Sonographers must have the ability to:

  1. Lift more than 50 pounds routinely
  2. Push and pull routinely
  3. Bend and stoop routinely
  4. Have full use of both hands, wrists, and shoulders
  5. Distinguish audible sounds
  6. Adequately view images, including color distinctions
  7. Work standing on their feet 80% of the time
  8. Interact compassionately and effectively with the sick or injured
  9. Assist patients on and off examining tables
  10. Communicate effectively with patients and other health care professionals
  11. Organize and accurately perform the individual steps in a sonographic procedure in the proper sequence