Full-time Diploma 5640diplt

Overview

Note: The September 2014 intake is now closed for new applications. The next intake will start accepting applications on November 1, 2014 (or next business day).

Please check our list of programs that may have space available or access our program database for a complete list of BCIT programs.

The BCIT Diagnostic Medical Sonography program draws students from across the province. Our program provides access to state-of-the-art equipment and the latest in ultrasound technology so that you are ready to start your career the moment you graduate.

Diagnostic medical sonography, commonly known as ultrasound, uses high-frequency sound waves to examine the developing fetus, heart, abdomen, pelvis, and blood vessels. Each patient comes with unique needs and, as a student, you will learn diagnostic problem-solving and team collaboration skills to give each patient the highest quality of care.

About the program

  • Twenty-seven-month, full-time Diploma program 
  • Lectures and labs provide you with theory and active practice on campus 
  • Forty-six weeks of clinical experiences in BC hospitals and/or clinics 
  • Two streams of study – general and cardiac – provide strong expertise in both areas
    • Students may specialize in either or practice in both upon graduation

This program is in demand. Visit Program Details to learn more.

Who it’s for

This program is for individuals who:

  • Take an inquisitive approach to solving problems
  • Enjoy working directly with patients and teams in a hospital environment
  • Have strong technical skills and hand-eye coordination 
  • Have completed one year of post-secondary education or higher level of education
  • Are BC residents 

See Program Entry to find out more about applying to BCIT’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.

What grads can do

Diagnostic Medical Sonography grads find work soon after they graduate. Learn more about careers opportunities at Graduating and Jobs.

Program Entry

Note: This program does not accept applications from International students. View BCIT programs that do.

Entrance requirements

Competitive Entry: Three step process

Preference will be given to applicants with:

  • Academic grades above the minimum
  • Requirements completed within the last five years
  • Related experience
  • Post-secondary academic courses*

Applications accepted November 1st** – January 5th

*Applicants with preferred entrance requirements are to submit transcripts and supporting documentation with their online application.

**or next business day

Applicants to this program must be residents of British Columbia.

Note: This program does not accept applications from International students. View BCIT programs that do.

Step 1: Entrance requirements

Challenge Exams

* Biology: BCIT assesses, on an individual basis, the acceptability of biology prerequisites for applicants who have successfully completed Human Biology courses at a post-secondary level. The Human Biology equivalent courses must include the following course content: cytology, the structure and function of the following organ systems: digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, renal/urinary and reproductive. BHSC 0012 - Biology 12 Challenge Exam (73%) taken within the past 5 years is acceptable for applicants who do not meet the five year recency requirement.

** Physics: DSON 0006 - Physics 11 Challenge Exam (73%) taken within the past 5 years is acceptable for applicants who do not meet the five year recency requirement.

Step 2: Requirements for selected applicants

  • Multiple Mini Interview Process (MMI)
  • 2 Letters of reference

Step 3: Conditionally selected applicants

If you have been conditionally accepted to BCIT you will be notified through myCommunication and the following information will be required in order to be fully accepted into the program:

  • Medical terminology course (73%). This course will be available online for conditionally accepted applicants.

  • Current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) - Level C

  • Criminal Record Check [PDF]

  • Immunization Review [PDF]
    Submit to Student Health Services.
    Immunization is a mandatory requirement for this program.

Once these and any other outstanding conditions have been met, you will receive notification of your full acceptance.

Clinical requirements

Note: Effective immediately, all health care workers who come into contact with patients at publicly-funded health care facilities or in the community, including at long-term-care facilities, will have to get the influenza vaccine or wear a mask during flu season. This policy affects all students who will be entering a clinical setting.

As such, you will be required to provide proof of your immunization or agree to wear a mask at all times through the flu season prior to being placed in your clinical studies.

Face Respirator Fit Testing

Respirator Fit Testing with a N95 respirator (1860, 1860s or 1870) is required and must be performed, in accordance with CSA Standard CAN/CSA-Z94.4-02. Fit Testing must also include, inspection, cleaning, maintenance and storage of protective equipment. Students will be given specific instructions on how to access FIT testing by the program prior to the first clinical. Students are responsible for paying for the annual FIT test while in the program and carrying their certificate with them at all times during their practicum.

Recommended for success

  • Physical and mental stamina. Applicants with a history of arm, shoulder, neck and/or back injury should carefully consider their suitability for this career choice. Examples include but are not limited to carpel tunnel syndrome, nerve entrapment, rotator cuff tears, thoracic outlet syndrome and spinal injury.

  • Fine motor control / manual dexterity

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Ability to:
    • visualize objects in 3 dimensions
    • accurately differentiate colors and sounds
    • work independently and in team situation
    • manage stressful busy work environments
    • move and transfer patients from wheelchairs to stretchers and to the washroom
    • assist patients with toilet needs
    • multitask accurately and efficiently
    • problem solve in a variety of situations

Apply to program

The September 2014 intake is now closed for new applications. Applications for September 2015 will be accepted starting November 1, 2014 (or next business day).

You can check the status of your application online at any time using the Student Information System.

Scheduled intakes

September each year.

myCommunication

Within 3 weeks of applying to a program, you will be sent a letter in the mail confirming receipt of your application. The letter will identify your student number, BCIT e-mail address and instructions on how to login to your myBCIT account.

All official BCIT correspondence will be sent to your myBCIT account. Check myCommunication often during the application process and throughout your studies at BCIT.

You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within 4 weeks.

Costs & Supplies

Tuition fees

Please see the Fees, Payments and Refunds section of the website for more information on full-time tuition fees.

Books and supplies

Level 1:  $1,150
Level 2:  $600
Level 3:  $400
Level 4:  $200
Level 5:  $200

(general estimated cost, subject to change)

Face respirator fit testing: approx $25 per year, annual re-fitting required.

Financial assistance

Financial assistance may be available for this program. For more information, please contact Student Financial Aid and Awards.

Courses

Program delivery

Note: The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program matrix has been revised effective for the September 2013 intake. The revised matrix is listed below. Current students please refer to the 2012 - 2014 cohort matrix [PDF].

Program matrix

Level 1 (15 weeks)
September – December
Credits
  BHSC 1143 Abdomen Form and Function (DSON) 3.0
  BHSC 1144 Human Behaviour 1 (DSON) 3.0
  DSON 1001 Abdominal and Superficial Structures Sonography 1 3.0
  DSON 1002 Women's Health Sonography 1 3.0
  DSON 1003 Cardiac Sonography 1 3.0
  DSON 1011 General Sonography Lab 1 3.0
  DSON 1012 Cardiac Sonography Lab 1 3.0
  PHYS 1073 Sonography Physics 1 3.0
 
Level 2 (26 weeks)
January – June
Credits
  DSON 1004 Clinical Orientation 1.5
  DSON 2001 Abdominal and Superficial Structures Sonography 2 4.0
  DSON 2002 Women's Health Sonography 2 4.0
  DSON 2003 Cardiac Sonography 2 4.0
  DSON 2004 Sonography Clinical 1 8.5
  DSON 2005 Vascular Sonography 1 1.5
  DSON 2011 General Sonography Lab 2 5.5
  DSON 2012 Cardiac Sonography Lab 2 4.0
  NURS 1186 Patient Care for Sonography 2.5
  PHYS 2073 Sonography Physics 2 2.5
 
Level 3 (15 weeks)
September – December
Credits
  BHSC 2143 Pathophysiology (DSON) 3.0
  BHSC 2144 Human Behaviour 2 (DSON) 2.0
  COMM 3173 Communication for Diagnostic Sonography 2.0
  DSON 3001 Abdominal and Superficial Structures Sonography 3 3.0
  DSON 3002 Women's Health Sonography 3 3.0
  DSON 3003 Cardiac Sonography 3 3.0
  DSON 3005 Vascular Sonography 2 2.0
  DSON 3011 General Sonography Lab 3 3.0
  DSON 3012 Cardiac Sonography Lab 3 2.0
  PHYS 3073 Sonography Physics 3 2.0
 
Level 4 (20 weeks)
January – May
Credits
  DSON 3004 Research Principles 1.5
  DSON 4004 Sonography Clinical 2 28.0
  HMGT 5001 Professional Practice 2.0
 
Level 5 (20 weeks)
July – November
Credits
  DSON 4006 Sonography Clinical 3 28.0
  DSON 4007 Sonography Project 1.5
 
Total Credits: 148.0

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

The program

This diploma program is two years (27 months) in length. The program includes theory, labs and clinical training in sonography of the abdomen, superficial structures, male pelvis, pregnant and non-pregnant female pelvis, vascular tree (carotids and veins) and heart. The sonographic specialties are supported by instruction in physical principles and instrumentation, patient care, communication, human behaviour, and research principles.

The BCIT Sonography program is accredited with the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). Graduates of this program are eligible to write the Sonography Canada or American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) registry examinations and to hold the professional credentials offered by both organizations.

Students are advised that travel to clinical placements at their own expense is required. Students are asked to identify site preferences, but it may not be possible to accommodate all requests. All students will be assigned to at least one placement site outside of the lower mainland (Vancouver Island, northern or interior BC). Some lower mainland students may be required to attend placements that are lengthy commutes from their homes, or difficult to access by bus, yet still considered a local placement. It may be possible for applicants with permanent residences outside of the lower mainland to access some clinical placements in their home area.

Students are expected to have access to a computer with a high-speed internet connection and a printer, and to be proficient in the use of the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel).

Program length

Two years (27 months) full-time.

Students start in September and graduate at the end of November.

Grading

All didactic courses require a mark of 60 percent to pass. Lab and clinical courses require satisfactory completion of all competencies.

Graduating & Jobs

Our graduates get work

You will graduate ready to work in general or cardiac ultrasound, or both. Our grads have the people, academic, technical, and problem solving skills to be active members of the healthcare team. Patients and doctors rely on their expertise to give the best patient care possible.

Career opportunities

Grads primarily work in hospitals and private clinics. Careers can be found in casual, part-time, and full-time positions and many move into full-time employment within a few months of graduating. Salaries start at approximately $30 per hour in careers like:

  • Medical sonographer
  • Echo cardiographer or cardiac sonographer
  • Commercial sales 
  • Research and development

See what our grads are saying. View the most recent post-grad survey.

Keep learning

Our grads join a community of health specialists dedicated to professional development and continuous learning.

Our students become members of Sonography Canada, a leading organization for our industry. Their annual conference provides networking and skill building opportunities that can help with career advancement.

The British Columbia Ultrasonographers' Society (BCUS) offers seminars to help diagnostic sonographers keep their skills current and stay connected with the latest news and trends in the industry.

Graduate employment outcomes

The following link takes you to graduate outcome survey results containing mostly labour market results from the 2011-2013 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2010-2012 Graduates.
Note: The survey results will be displayed in a separate browser window. To view these results, you need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Faculty and staff

  • Anne Andrew, Program Head
  • Nancy Chouinard, Clinical Coordinator
  • Charmaine Groom, Instructor
  • Shaheen Ladha, Instructor
  • Kathryn Leibel, Instructor
  • Ken Marken, Instructor
  • Fiona Mitchell, Associate Dean
  • Tami Riley, Instructor

Clinical Partner Sites

  • Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre
  • BC Children's Hospital
  • BC Women's Hospital
  • Brooke Radiology, Richmond and Burnaby
  • Burnaby Hospital
  • Campbell River Hospital
  • Chilliwack General Hospital
  • CML Healthcare
  • Cowichan District Hospital, Duncan
  • Dawson Creek Hospital
  • Delta Hospital
  • Eagle Ridge Hospital
  • East Kootenay Regional Hospital, Cranbrook
  • Fort St. John Hospital
  • GR Baker Hospital, Quesnel
  • Greig Associates
  • Island Ultrasound, Victoria
  • Kelowna General Hospital (Diagnostic Imaging and Cardiac)
  • Kelowna Medical Imaging
  • Kootenay Boundary Hospital, Trail
  • Kootenay Lake Hospital, Nelson
  • Langley Memorial Hospital
  • Lion's Gate Hospital
  • Madrona Imaging Inc., Nanaimo
  • MedRay Imaging
  • Mount St. Joseph's Hospital
  • Nanaimo Regional General Hospital
  • Peace Arch Hospital
  • Penticton Regional General Hospital (Diagnostic Imaging and Cardiac)
  • Richmond Hospital
  • Ridge Meadows Hospital
  • Royal Columbian Hospital, New Westminster (Diagnostic Imaging and Cardiac)
  • Royal Inland Hospital, Kamloops
  • Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria (Diagnostic Imaging and Cardiac)
  • Shuswap Lake Hospital, Salmon Arm
  • St. Joseph's Hospital, Comox
  • St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver (Diagnostic Imaging and Cardiac)
  • Surrey Memorial Hospital (Diagnostic Imaging and Cardiac)
  • University Hospital of Northern BC, Prince George
  • Valley X-Ray Services
  • Vancouver General Hospital (Diagnostic Imaging and Cardiac)
  • Vernon Jubilee Hospital
  • Vernon Radiological Associates
  • Victoria General Hospital

Advisory committee

  • Jill Anglin, Greig Associates
  • Brent Barton, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
  • Kathy Conner, Vancouver General Hospital
  • Jodi Duncan, Royal columbian Hospital
  • Cathy Fix, Providence Health Care
  • Dr. Haidar Hadi, Northern Health Authority
  • Dr.Maria Kidney, Royal Columbian Hospital
  • Vickie Lessoway, BC Ultrasonographers' Society
  • Anne Massey, Langley Memorial Hospital
  • Brenda Mercer, Royal Inland Hospital
  • Dr. Brad Munt, St. Paul's Hospital
  • Gisela Parkins, Lion's Gate Hospital
  • Egidio Pasin, Lions Gate Hospital
  • Nell Venir, Royal Columbian Hospital

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy.

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