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Skip Navigation LinksHarris Health About Us Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

Do you love anatomy and physiology? Are you detail oriented and enjoy helping people? If so, a career as a diagnostic medical sonographer could be for you. A diagnostic medical sonographer is a healthcare professional who uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal organs, fetuses and blood flow within the body. They specialize in performing ultrasound exams to help diagnose and treat medical conditions such as pregnancy, heart disease, cancer and other disorders. 

Sonographers work closely with physicians and other healthcare professionals to provide accurate and detailed images to aid in patient diagnosis and treatment planning. They also maintain patient records and equipment and may assist in the development of treatment plans.

 How to Apply

Apply today​ 
​If you have questions regarding your application, contact us at:

Phone: 346-426-1530
Email: SDMI@harrishealth.org

Information Sessions
Every applicant must participate in an information session, which takes place at 5 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month from January to December, excluding holidays. Registration is mandatory, so call 346-426-1530 to register.​

Applicants must:

  1. Be 18 years of age by July 1 of the year of application 
  2. Have proof of U.S. citizenship or be a permanent resident at the time of application
  3. Be capable of successfully performing tasks related to the occupation
    • Patient preparation: Prepare and assist patients for exams
    • Equipment operation: Operate and maintain ultrasound images
    • Image acquisition: Capture quality ultrasound images
    • Patient care: Provide comfort during exams
    • Collaboration/communication: Effectively communicate and work with healthcare professionals for diagnoses
  4. ​Submit official transcripts from all institutions attended to demonstrate successful completion of at least an Associate's Degree. 
    • Must demonstrate a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale
    • Must have a degree from an accredited college or university. Alternative qualification includes graduation from an approved U.S. healthcare related program with licensure
    • Foreign transcripts must be evaluated for U.S. equivalency via Spantran Educational Services and World Education Consultants
    • A minimum grade of C in the following courses: 
      • English/Communication: English, Speech, Composition or related course (3 or more credit hours)
      • Mathematics: College Algebra, Statistics or higher course (3 or more credit hours)  
      • Social Science: Psychology, Sociology or related course (3 or more credit hours)  
      • Human Anatomy/Physiology: (3 or more credit hours)  
      • Physics: Elementary, College or higher (3 or more credit hours)  
      • Medical Terminology: (certificate course/1 or more credit hours)
  5. A completed application packet includes:
    • Complete and signed application
    • Official school transcripts
    • $75 application fee paid via credit/debit card (Pay here)
  6. Submit the completed application packet submitted via email to SDMI@harrishealth.org or in person.

Applicants who meet the admission requirements are scheduled for an interview with the selection committee.
Interviews and consideration for acceptance are granted to individuals who meet or exceed the minimum criteria required on the sonography program application. Please note, requirements for admission are subject to change.

If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony (including conviction of a similar offense in a military court-martial) you will need pre-clearance from The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

You are required to report:
  • ​Criminal charges resulting in convictions that have been stayed, withheld/deferred, set aside, or suspended;
  • Any admission of guilt, Alford plea, or plea of no contest (nolo contendere);
  • Court supervision, probation or pre-trial diversion.
The program does not offer advanced placement regardless of previous experience or education.

 Cost

Tuition costs are subject to change. Tuition does not include books, uniforms, housing, transportation or parking.
All students pay a non-refundable $150 administrative fee at the beginning of the program.
Semester Tuition:
  • $800 inside of Harris County
  • $850 outside of Harris County, but within Texas
  • $1,000 out of state 
Refund Policy: 
A student who officially withdraws during the first ten days of the semester will be refunded 100% of the tuition paid. After the tenth day, tuition will not be refunded.

Additional Costs:
  • ​Books: Approximately $500-$1,500.
  • Uniforms: The dress regulations for the program requires all students to wear black scrub uniforms and black or white lab coats. 
  • Parking: Students are encouraged to explore all options that are available to them for transportation and parking in the medical center. Parking is available through Texas Medical Center (TMC) Parking Operations. 
  • Salary/Stipend: Students do not receive a salary or a stipend.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is not available through the school.
  • Availability of Part-Time Work: Students may apply for any positions that become available within Harris Health; however, students must not allow work to interfere with scheduled school time or performance.

 Meet the Faculty


Cleveland Black, PhD, associate administrator, Human Resources, dean of students


James Norsworthy, BSRS, RT(R)(ARRT), (AB)(OB/GYN) (RDMS)(RVT), director


Jessica AdgerBSRS, (RDMS)(AB)(OB/GYN), instructor ​



Yara Abdin, MS, (RDMS)(RVT), senior instructor


Tahara Dupre
, MBA, MSM, senior program coordinator


Ajana Clayton, MBA, MEd, senior learning and education development specialist


  Faye Vance, senior operations manager

​​​

 

 Student Testimonials

I went into the program thinking I’d end up in the OBGYN line of work, but the school has opened my eyes to all the different types of sonography. I like how in-depth we go into each subject and how much we are able to practice scanning in the lab. The instructors at Harris Health System School of Diagnostic Medical Imaging are probably my favorite part of this program. They are encouraging, fun and extremely knowledgeable.
Michelle C., Class of 2023   
 
 
My inspiration for applying to the School of Diagnostic Medical Imaging was to have a stable future for myself and my future family. Prior to the program I was in the health industry, but it did not fulfill my needs. I wanted to do more with my life and my future. I wanted a career where I could depend on myself for stability. I love the professors—they are passionate about their work. They have so much experience and knowledge and share it with us every day. I didn’t realize ultrasound reached so many different areas of the body besides abdominal organs and the heart. It’s shown me just how much ultrasound has to offer.
Michelle H., Class of 2023 
 
The most memorable moment in this program for me was the first day of the second summer semester when my entire class passed the ARDMS SPI (Sonography Principles and Instrumentation) Exam together. To achieve this with my classmates was very encouraging. I appreciate that every day I’m pushed outside of my comfort zone to expand my mind. This program is certainly challenging, but it is worth it in the end. Once I found out that sonography is a tool used to help save lives, I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of that. After I graduate, I hope to join an amazing team of sonographers, preferably at Harris Health. It would be great to remain here to work with this team and continue learning from the best.
Sydney H., Class of 2023 

 Accreditation/Program Effectiveness

Credentialing Examination Rate
Abdomen
OB/GYN
Sonographic Principles and Instrumentation (SPI)
Number passed on first attempt divided by number attempted within 12 months of graduation
Year    
202180%50%93% 

 

Job Placement RateNumber of employed divided by number actively seeking employment within 12 months of graduation
YearResults
202190%

 

Program Completion RateNumber graduated divided by number started the program
YearResults
202177%

 

Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

Goal 1: Students will be clinically competent.

  • Students will perform entry-level imaging procedures.
  • Students will demonstrate entry-level patient care skills.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of 'as low as reasonably achievable' (ALARA).

Goal 2: Students will demonstrate professionalism and lifelong learning.

  • Students will display professional behavior.
  • Students will pursue higher education.

Goal 3: Students will communicate on a professional level.

  • Students will demonstrate effective oral communication.
  • Students will demonstrate effective written communication.

Goal 4: Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills.

  • Students will critique images to determine image quality.
  • Students will perform unfamiliar exams with appropriate supervision.
Harris Health System Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) under recommendation of the Joint Review Commission on Education In Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). CAAHEP promotes excellence in education and enhances quality and safety of patient care through the accreditation of educational programs. Harris Health's DMS Program is the only CAAHEP accredited hospital-based DMS program in the state of Texas.
 
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
9355 113th St. N, #7709
Seminole, FL 33775
Phone: 727-210-2350
Fax: 727-210-2354
 
JRC-DMS | Comment Period
Joint Review Commission on Education In Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS)
6021 University Blvd., Ste. 500
Ellicott City, MD 21043
 
Non-discrimination and Americans with Disabilities Statements 
 
It is the policy of Harris Health System School of Diagnostic Medical Imaging to provide equal educational opportunities for all applicants without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, age, national origin or disability or other legally protected characteristic.
 
Students who have documented learning, psychological or physical disability may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact admissions. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. All requests are referred to Human Resources for consideration. The program will not waive essential skill or requirements of a course.​

 Program Information

Program Mission
The mission of Harris Health System School of Diagnostic Medical Imaging is to educate the next generation of competent entry-level imaging professionals.
 
Salary/Employment Outlook 
The median annual salary for a sonography technologist was around $ 101,650 in 2021. The job market is predicted to grow by about 9% between 2020 and 2030 (as fast as average).*
*Numbers taken from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 
A Career in Sonography
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that diagnostic medical sonographers specialize in creating images, known as sonograms or ultrasounds that depict the body’s organs and tissues. Sonography is often the first imaging test performed when disease is suspected. Sonography uses high-energy sound waves to produce images of the inside of the body. The sonographer uses an instrument called a transducer to scan parts of the patient’s body that are being examined. The transducer emits pulses of sound that bounce back, causing echoes. The echoes form an image on a computer that physicians use for diagnosis.
 
The following are examples of types of medical sonographers:

​Abdominal sonographers specialize in imaging a patient’s abdominal cavity and nearby organs, such as the kidney, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and spleen. Abdominal sonographers may assist with biopsies or other examinations requiring ultrasound guidance.


Breast sonographers specialize in imaging a patient’s breast tissue. Sonography can confirm the presence of cysts and tumors that may have been detected by the patient, the physician, or a mammogram. Breast sonographers assist with procedures that track tumors and help to provide information that will aid physicians in making decisions about treatment options for breast cancer patients.


Obstetric and gynecologic sonographers specialize in imaging the female reproductive system. For example, many pregnant women receive sonograms to track the baby’s growth and health.


Vascular technologists (vascular sonographers) create images of blood vessels and collect data that help physicians diagnose disorders affecting blood flow. Vascular technologists often evaluate blood flow and identify blocked arteries or blood clots.

Students attend didactic classes at Fournace Place in Bellaire and attend clinical education at three Harris Health System facilities: 
  • ​Ben Taub Hospital
  • Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital
  • Smith Clinic 
The program begins July each year. 
 
Program hours are Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. and excludes weekends and holidays. Students spend time in the classroom, lab and clinical rotations. 
 
Students are required to attend school for no more than 40 hours per week. 
 
The length of the sonography program is two (2) years. However, in instances where a student must repeat coursework, the program completion time may be extended to, but may not exceed three years, except upon approval by the advisory committee. 
 
The program is divided into six semesters.  
 
The student must attend class and clinical rotations simultaneously except when an injury or surgery interferes with clinical progress during the regular course of the program. In this instance, with approval, the student may be placed on a leave of absence from clinical education and attend classes only until his/her physician authorizes a return to clinic. The student will make up the time missed from clinical education.