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Technical Standards

All applicants and students in the program are required to read and understand the information presented on this page.

The Certificate in Diagnostic Ultrasound Technology (General and Vascular) signifies that the holder has the knowledge and skills to be a candidate to take the national board registries. Therefore, all individuals admitted to the program will be asked to verify they can meet these standards with or without accommodation(s). Applicants who disclose a disability are considered for admission if they are otherwise qualified.

Diagnostic ultrasound is a multi-specialty medical field that utilizes high frequency sound waves to produce images of internal structures and hemodynamics that assist in the diagnosis of disease or injury and fetal development. The sonographer is a highly skilled health care professional qualified by education to provide patient services using diagnostic techniques under the supervision of a licensed doctor of medicine. The sonographer may provide this service in a variety of settings where the physician is responsible for the use and interpretation of appropriate procedures.

Responsibilities of diagnostic ultrasound include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Obtain, review, and integrate pertinent patient history and supporting clinical data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results.
  2. Perform appropriate procedures and record anatomic, pathologic, and/or physiologic data for interpretation by a physician.
  3. Record, analyze, and process diagnostic data and other pertinent observations made during the procedure for presentation to the interpreting physician.
  4. Exercise discretion and judgment in the performance of sonographic and/or other non-invasive/invasive diagnostic services.
  5. Demonstrate appropriate communication skills with patients and colleagues.
  6. Act in a professional and ethical manner.

The diagnostic medical sonographer exhibits professionalism in the performance of these duties, demonstrates an empathetic and instructional approach to patient care, respects and promotes patient rights and maintains confidentiality of information as required. He/she applies knowledge of ultrasound physics, instrumentation and biological effects while minimizing exposure to the general public, patient, fellow workers, and self to as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). Professional growth and development is achieved through participation in medical and technical education and research to enhance the quality of patient care.

Upon successful completion of the certificate program, the graduate should be able to demonstrate entry-level competencies in the above areas of the professional practice.

* Taken from the Standards and Guidelines for an Accredited Educational Program for the Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. Standards (Essentials) initially adopted in June 1979; revised in 1987, 1996, 1991, 1997 and 2011.

The certificate granted at the completion of this program signifies that the holder is a candidate to sit for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers board examinations for Sonography Principles and Instrumentation, Abdomen, Ob/Gyn and Vascular Technology. This certificate also signifies that the holder is prepared for entry into the profession of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, therefore it ensures that graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and demonstrate entry level competencies. Therefore, all students admitted to the program must meet the following abilities and expectations.

1. Observation
Visual acuity is necessary for utilizing imaging equipment, evaluating the ultrasound exam to acquire appropriate diagnostic information and observing patient's vital signs.

The ultrasound applicant/student must observe and learn from experiences in the radiology ultrasound imaging clinics, breast imaging, Center for Advanced Fetal Care, interventional radiology, and classroom. Examples are (but not limited to) imaging exams/procedures, performing and analysis of imaging procedures, computer analysis, and patient care.

2. Communication
Hearing and speech needs to be sufficient to communicate effectively and efficiently with all customers. Communications include not only speech but also reading and writing.

    The applicant/student must be able to perform the following functions:
  • Read and comprehend technical and professional materials
  • Follow verbal or written instruction in order to correctly and independently perform procedures
  • Clearly communicate with patients and their families prior to and during imaging procedures
  • Use the telephone
  • Communicate with faculty members, fellow students, staff and other healthcare professions verbally and in a recorded format (writing, typing, etc.)
  • Independently prepare papers and take examinations.

3. Psychomotor
The applicant/student must have manual dexterity and good physical coordination to assist patients and operate ultrasound-imaging equipment. Students must have full utility of arms, hands and fingers to perform examinations, operate equipment and maintain prolonged arm positions necessary for scanning. This is necessary for the ability to help patients up off examination tables and to assist patients and other sonographers with lifting patients out of wheel chairs when necessary. The student must be able to push and maneuver all Ultrasound imaging equipment up to approximately 500lbs and during mobile procedures manipulate ultrasound equipment along with patient equipment on the nursing unit.

4. Intellectual
The applicant/student must:

  • Possess the following intellectual skills: comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation, problem solving, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression and criticism
  • Be able to exercise sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance deviations.

5. Behavioral and Social
The applicant/student must:

  • Be able to manage time to complete didactic and clinical tasks within realistic constraints
  • Possess emotional health necessary to effectively employ intellect and exercise appropriate judgment
  • Be able to provide professional and technical services in spite of the stresses of heavy workloads.
  • Be flexible and creative and adapt to clinical and didactic changes
  • Recognize potentially hazardous materials equipment and situations and proceed safely to reduce risk of injury to patient or self
  • Be able minimize ultrasound exposure to patients, self and others
  • Support and promote the activities of fellow students and health care professionals
  • Be honest, compassionate, ethical and responsible

6. Technical
The applicant/student must perform diagnostic ultrasound imaging procedures by demonstrating appropriate competency in the following:

  • Evaluation of requisition and patient assessment
  • Patient and family education
  • Patient care and management
  • Equipment configuration and operation
  • Positioning and imaging skills
  • Adhering to established departmental procedures and protocols
  • Work efficiently and cope with emergency situations
  • Imaging processing, evaluation and analysis with physician

It is the responsibility of the applicant/student to notify the admissions committee and/or one of the co-program directors if there is any reason expectations described above cannot be met with or without reasonable accommodations.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply to the program. Candidates whose response indicates that they cannot meet one or more of the expectations will be reviewed further by the admissions committee, with applicant, the university's equal opportunity/disability specialist, and faculty input, to determine if reasonable accommodations might be possible to facilitate successful completion of the program's curriculum and preparation for the national board registry examinations.

TTY 711
The University of Kansas is an AA/EO/Title IX institution.

See Also:

KU Medical Center Office of Equal Opportunity

Last modified: Jun 29, 2019

Prospective Students
The priority deadline to apply to this program is February 1. Applications may be accepted after the deadline based on space available in the next class.

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For more information about graduation rates, costs, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please see the program's gainful employment disclosure.