HANCEVILLE, Ala. — The Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program at Wallace State Community College recently presented 22 students with pins to mark their successful completion of the program. Each of the students has already successfully completed their physics registries. As for specialty registries, 17 have passed their OB/GYN and 16 have passed their abdominal registry, earning them the credential of registered diagnostic medical sonographer (RDMS).
“I hate to lose you as students, but I’m thankful to gain you as colleagues,” said April Sutherland, director of the DMS program at Wallace State.
“I am truly in awe of these students,” added Donna Attaway, clinical coordinator for the DMS program. “This is the first time ever that every student has taken the physics registry before they graduated. Not only did they all take it, they all passed it.
“The majority of these students have already taken and passed a specialty registry and over half of them are double registered,” Attaway added. “That’s such a great accomplishment. Those who aren’t yet registered, without a doubt, will be soon.”
Elizabeth Hemmen of Loretto, Tenn., president of the graduating class, congratulated her fellow alumnus on completing the journey they started 16 months ago. “It is clear that we can accomplish anything if we set our minds to it,” she said. “The struggles that we have endured are now the successes that we will enjoy. Every passed registry, new job and the pin that we will receive tonight make all the countless hours of studying and sleepless nights more than worth it.”
During the pinning ceremony, the graduating class presented a $1,000 scholarship to the Wallace State Sonography Club.
The four-semester Diagnostic Medical Sonography program prepares students to work as sonographers in medical facilities and physician offices. While they are most commonly associated within the field of obstetrics, sonographers can also specialize in abdominal sonograpy (liver, kidney, gallbladder, spleen and pancreas), neurosonography (brain), musculoskeletal, or breast sonography, as well as vascular technology and echocardiography.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to grow 46 percent from 2012 to 2022 and 30 percent for cardiovascular technologists and technicians. Certified diagnostic imaging personnel are expected to have the best job opportunities, with those certified in more than one specialty increasing their job prospects. The median annual wage for diagnostic medical sonographers nationwide as of May 2012 was $65,860, with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $44,990 and the top 10 percent earning more than $91,070.
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program accepts applications from May 1-June 1 for fall admission. Applicants must successfully complete general required courses before the June 1 deadline, attain a minimum GPA of 2.5 and meet all the technical standards required of the program.
Registration for the Spring 2016 semester is currently underway. For more information about the Diagnostic Medical Sonography or any other health, career or academic program at Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu or call 256.352.8000 or 866.350.9722.