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Mission and Goals

Mission

The mission of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at Tacoma Community College is to provide comprehensive instruction designed to respond to the dynamic and evolving nature of sonography and the health care field. This program emphasizes critical thinking skills, compassionate and quality patient care, as well as promotes professional interactions with patients, staff, and physicians.

Program Goals

The program will:

  1. Prepare competent, entry-level general medical sonographers in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains.
  2. Utilize support services provided by the college to assist a course retention rate of no less than 75 percent.
  3. Provide a curriculum designed to meet requirements of professional bodies that strives for no less than 75 percent of program students entering will successfully complete the requirements for the Associate in Applied Science degree.
  4. Prepare students to take the ARDMS examination and achieve a first time pass rate of no less than 80 percent.
  5. Ensure that within 6 months of completion of the program 80 percent of graduates seeking employment will be employed in the profession.
  6. Provide educational opportunities for re-careering and professional renewal consistent with the mission of the college.
  7. Evaluate the appropriateness of the curriculum against the changing environment and assess progress toward achieving its goal.

Philosophy

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at Tacoma Community College was created to address a recognized need in the community. As such, the surrounding health care community has played an integral role in shaping the program. Area sonographers, physicians, and health care administrators helped write and review curriculum and provided resources such as equipment and clinical education sites. As a result of this commitment, the program has a responsibility to provide competent sonographers for this community.

The program is based on the philosophy that sonography is learned through active, hands-on participation. It is a competency-based program in which the didactic and clinical instruction is closely correlated. This approach allows the students to have a firm understanding of the theoretical knowledge before applying this knowledge clinically. At the same time, the students are allowed controlled access to the clinical environment to reinforce the didactic coursework. Ample hands-on laboratory experience is also given to the student to provide the opportunity to practice their skills before they perform an examination on patients in the clinical setting. This approach facilitates learning and provides a solid foundation in sonographic technique. The ultimate goal of the program is to prepare outstanding staff sonographers who have the potential to become effective supervisors and instructors.

Lastly, the program is designed to equip the student with the knowledge needed to successfully complete the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers National Registry Examination. ARDMS certification is a crucial step in the career of a sonographer, creating employment opportunities as well as opportunities to contribute to the field of sonography. The program, as well as certification, promotes a commitment to life-long learning through continuing education and a desire to share knowledge with fellow sonographers, future and current students, and other health care workers.

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