Concentrations in Radiologic Sciences

Radiologic Sciences offers the following concentrations: 

Radiographers use radiation and other forms of energy to look inside the human body. This area of diagnostic medicine is called imaging technology or radiography. Diagnostic techniques include radiography (x-ray),computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Nuclear medicine technology uses radioactive material for both diagnosis and therapy. Procedures consist of imaging studies, analysis of biologic specimens, and therapy. In imaging studies, patients are administered a radioactive material which localizes in a specific organ or system of the body.

Radiation therapy utilizes ionizing radiation in a strictly controlled environment to treat disease, primarily cancer. High energy x-rays, gamma rays, and electron beams are common forms of ionizing radiation used. Ionizing radiation can be administered using external beam therapy or by placing a radioactive material directly into a body tissue or cavity. The ultimate goal of radiation therapy is to destroy all abnormal cells while sparing the surrounding normal tissue as much as possible.

What is Diagnostic Medical Sonography?

Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS), frequently referred to as sonography or ultrasound, uses high frequency sound waves to produce images for diagnosis and treatment purposes. Unlike other department programs, sonography is a career field that does not use radiation. The skilled  technologists, called sonographers, must use professional judgement, problem solving skills, and medical equipment/ultrasound technology to create, analyze and interpret images of internal structures of the body such as organs, tissues, fetuses, blood vessels and musculature.

VCU's DMS Program

At the VCU Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, students will be immersed in a rich curriculum, a diverse study body, and developStudents gather to watch how to put on a surgical gown [View Image] rewarding skills through blended learning, classroom instruction, hands on laboratory experiences, and clinical education.  Our goal is to prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.
Students enter the department in the fall semester as a sophomore where they complete core courses.  The student's Junior year begins the DMS phase of the program.  Program features include:
  • class sizes between 10-15 students ensure personalized attention and instruction,
  • clinical education at 16 medical sites in the central Virginia region including an academic medical center, regional hospitals, and smaller facilities (note: some sites may be 1 or more hours from VCU).
  • The opportunity for hands-on experience in a safe and supportive laboratory with advanced imaging equipment such as Philips EPIQ and Philips CX50 ultrasound machines, a variety of imaging phantoms (e.g., pelvic, fetal, scrotal, neonatal hip, neonatal brain), a Trophon unit, and state-of- the-art artificial intelligence simulation trainer.

Becoming Certified

Prior to degree completion, students will be eligible to sit for the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) SPI A group of students learn how to give an ultrasound [View Image]examination.  Upon graduation,  graduates will be eligible to sit for national certification examinations offered by the ARDMS (abdominal,   obstetrics/gynecology, and possibly other specialties) and/or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. 
  

Programmatic Accreditation

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography General Concentration Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

 

CAAHEP
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Resources

American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography: www.ardms.org
American Registry of Radiologic Technologists: www.arrt.org
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs: www.caahep.org
Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography: www.jrcdms.org
Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology: www.jrcert.org

The Second Modality BS programs are for certified radiographers who desire to continue their professional education and concentrate in either Nuclear Medicine Technology or Radiation Therapy. All programs are full-time.

The Department also offers a program for certified radiologic technologists to complete their bachelor's degree. The degree completion programs are available on a full- or part-time basis. To be eligible for admission to a completion program, the applicant must be certified (ARRT or NMTCB) in the appropriate discipline or eligible for certification.