Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Diagnostic Medical Sonography, also known as Ultrasound, is a diagnostic medical procedure that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce dynamic visual images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body. This type of procedure is often referred to as a sonogram or ultrasound scan. The professionals who perform these procedures are known as diagnostic medical sonographers and vascular technologists (who are sonographers specializing in imaging and tests of blood vessels). Sonographers use a device called a transducer to image patients. A transducer emits high frequency sound waves into the body, and then detects the sound waves when they bounce back. Each internal structure reflects the sound waves differently, and that information is translated into an image that can be viewed on a computer screen in real time. Sonography can be used to examine many parts of the body, such as the abdomen, breasts, female reproductive system, prostate, heart, and blood vessels. Sonography is increasingly being used in the detection and treatment of heart disease, heart attack, and vascular disease that can lead to stroke. It is also used to guide fine needle, tissue biopsy to assist in taking a sample of cells from an organ for lab testing (for example, a test for cancer in breast tissue). Sonographers are responsible for obtaining accurate patient history and diagnostic images, analyzing the technical information from the scans, using judgement to recognize when a procedure needs to be expanded on based on diagnostic findings, as well as providing an oral or written summary of the findings for the physician.
This 28-month intensive program begins with three theoretical terms at Red River College Polytech (RRCP). Students learn the anatomy of the body, and the different ways different structures in the body reflect sound waves and how each structure appears on the images produced. The areas primarily focused on are obstetrics and gynecology, abdomen and superficial structures, and vascular sonographic studies. The clinical experience component is 48 consecutive weeks (January to December). Students will interact with other health care workers and patients while applying the knowledge acquired at RRCP when in clinical. Clinical sites are primarily within city limits. Students are responsible for costs associated with their clinical experience, such as travel costs.
- Twenty-eight (28) month – Advanced Diploma
- End of August entry date
- Notre Dame Campus and training hospitals in Winnipeg
- Clinical work experience
- Graduates must successfully complete both the Sonography Canada’s Canadian Clinical Skills Assessment (CCSA) and the Sonography Canada written exam.
- Due to high demand, this program is open to Manitoba residents only. Applications received from non-Manitoba residents for this program will be cancelled and the application fee will not be refunded.
Interested applicants with the following attributes would find the career of a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer very rewarding:
- Have a strong academic background, especially in science.
- Desire to work as a health care professional to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
- Possess strong organizational skills, the ability to pay attention to detail.
- Have the ability to follow standard operating procedures.
- Must have an ability to critically think, be resourceful, communicate.
- Be interactive as a team member with a diverse population of health care professionals and patients.
- Behave professionally even under stressful situations.
- Have the ability to act responsibly and with integrity.
- Are able to approach new challenges and cope with constant changes in technology and in your work environment.
- Have an aptitude for effective communication.
Training & Education Routes
Red River College Polytech
Diagnostic Medical Sonography – Ultrasound : RRC Polytech: Program Explorer
Regular Admission Requirements
- Post-secondary education is required, as well as an English language assessment and Casper Test and Snapshot. Please visit the link provided for a complete list of all admission requirements.
- Ultrasound is practiced in major urban and rural hospitals. In Manitoba there is also mobile ultrasound, where the sonographer travels with a portable ultrasound machine to service smaller rural communities. In other provinces there are also private clinics.
- Some graduates are working in related teaching, management, and research positions. Others are employed as application specialists, technical advisors, or representatives for diagnostic imaging equipment and supply manufacturers.
DID YOU KNOW:
- Entrance requirements for Medical Radiologic Technology at RRCP are also aligned with the following programs in the Allied Health Sciences Department:
- Medical Laboratory Sciences
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography
- Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography
- Primary Care Paramedicine
- Applicants can apply to more than one program at the same time (if desired).