Sonographers are health professionals that use high frequency sound (ultrasound) to produce dynamic visual images of organs, structures, and blood vessels of the body to assist physicians in making a diagnosis. Sonographers have extensive and direct patient contact including working with patients with communicable disease. They must be able to interact appropriately with a patient population that will vary from healthy individuals to those that are critically ill.
Sonographer responsibilities include (but are not limited to): obtaining an accurate patient history, analyzing technical information during the exam, exercising judgment concerning the quality and extent of the exam, producing a written or oral technical report for the interpreting physician, and communicating clearly with the patient and/or patient’s family before, during, and after the sonogram.
In summary, developing competence as a sonographer requires
- fine motor skills
- strong hand/eye coordination
- the ability to think in 3-dimensions while using a 2-dimensional imaging modality
- visual acuity to appreciate subtle changes/movements in imaged tissues
- the ability to apply didactic education to the clinical setting
- demonstration of highly effective communication skills at all times and instances
- a solid grounding in basic anatomy and physiology, physics, medical terminology, patient care, algebra, English composition, communications, psychology, pathophysiology
- successful completion of courses in normal and abnormal sonographic appearances, sonographic techniques and procedures, ultrasound physics (including Doppler and hemodynamics), advanced sonographic practices, and clinical experience where scanning skills, ability to function in the clinical setting, and application of classroom education is assessed
Technical Standards and Essential Functions
Health Sciences programs establish technical standards and essential functions to insure that students have the abilities required to participate and potentially be successful in all aspects of the respective programs. Students are required to meet technical standards and essential functions for the Sonography Programs as indicated below. If an applicant or student is unable to meet all of the outlined standards, he/she may be withdrawn from the program.
Sonography Program Technical Standards and Essential Functions
The following technical standards and essential functions outline reasonable expectations of a student in the Sonography Program for the performance of common sonographic imaging functions. The Sonography student must be able to apply the knowledge and skills necessary to function in a variety of classroom, lab and/or clinical situations while providing the essential competencies of sonographic imaging. These requirements apply for the purpose of admission and continuation in the program.
Sonography Application Requirements
ALL Sonography program applicants must meet the same requirements. All students must complete the Health Sciences pre-admission process, including all prerequisites and other requirements, before applying to any program. Not an ACC Student? Apply!
Review the entire Sonography website and schedule your Sonography Programs Advising Session
Follow the Application Process ALL Sonography Program pre-requisite college courses and other requirements MUST be completed prior to applying for admission. No exceptions are made for any applicant.
Complete the Sonography Information Session (online; Information Session). This information session is a requirement of the application process for Sonography. You will need the information from this session to begin your Application Process for an ACC Sonography Program.
Schedule Your Sonography Lab Volunteer Sessions - DO NOT DELAY beginning your volunteer sessions.
Serve as the "patient" for the DMS, DCS, and ESC-VT student labs (1 volunteer session for each specialty is required of all applicants); you may begin to volunteer at any time in the application process. Points (1 point/volunteer session) will be assigned on the Sonography Applicant Ranking Worksheet. Contact 512.223.5945 (DMS & VT) and 512.223.0294 (DCS) to schedule your appointments (labs are held each semester and at a variety of times).
Complete your Patient Care Education:Minimum of Certified Nurse Aide course - Contact the ACC Continuing Education Division for information.
- The CNA course is NOT required if you have completed one or more of the following direct patient care programs: Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), Radiologic Technologist (RT-R), Paramedic, EMT-Basic, Respiratory Therapist or Surgical Technologist.
- Applicants who have completed an EMT-Basic, Paramedic, Radiologic Technologist, RN, LVN, Surgical Technologist, and Respiratory Therapist Program are awarded additional points on the Sonography Applicant Ranking Worksheet.
- Applicants are NOT required to hold a specific credential or license (including CNA) to apply.
Additional Program Requirements
Those admitted to an ACC Sonography Program must the complete the criminal background check required of all ACC Health Science students, must provide proof of current CPR (American Heart Association Health Care Provider course) and must obtain a physical exam including a negative TB test result; due dates for these requirements are provided to new students in the letter of conditional acceptance.
Those who apply for admission to a Sonography Program must meet all the requirements found in the Sonography Application Process, including the Health Sciences requirements for immunizations.
All general education co-requisite and Sonography courses in the Sonography curricula must be completed with a grade of "C" or better for a student to progress to the next semester of the Program. If students receives a grade of "D" or lower inany course of the curricula, he/she is withdrawn from the Program. A student may apply for re- admission to a Sonography Program one time only and must follow the Re-Admisison Policy found in the Sonography Student Handbook. A student withdrawn from a Sonography Program for academic dishonesty, falsification of documentation, confirmed substance abuse, change in criminal history, or removal from a clinical site for cause is not eligible for re-entry into any Sonography Program.
A Sonography student will be assigned to a variety of clinical sites utilized by the Program and must have transportation to all assigned sites. Sonography clinical sites are located in hospitals and physician office practices in Austin (various locations), San Marcos, Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Killeen, Temple, Waco, and San Antonio (DCS program only). A student may not request assignment to a particular site for any reason.
All students must be able to access the ACC online teaching platform, Blackboard, and must be accessible via an electronic mail address. Students may utilize any of the computers on any ACC campus to create and check their email accounts and to access Blackboard. Blackboard and email accounts should be checked frequently for assignments, announcements and/or messages. Students are responsible for keeping email addresses current by updating their Blackboard Personal Information as needed.
Sonography students are required to demonstrate a variety of computer skills throughout the length of the program. Students are required to access the Internet and perform Web searches, submit all writing assignments as Word documents, and access and utilize the College on-line teaching platform, Blackboard. Students may be required to develop charts and tables, Power Point presentations, etc. for specific courses (refer to course syllabus for assignments). In addition, all Sonography clinical sites utilize computer systems for patient schedules and patient information; all Sonography students must be able to utilize any clinical site’s data/patient management system as allowed by the clinical site.
A student who is unfamiliar with using a computer or who has limited computer skills is expected to seek instruction in computer programs and usage so that he/she will be able to meet the requirements of his/her courses.
Please see the latest Sonography Student Handbook for this information. Handbooks are available in the Student Resources page.