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CCCC accepting applications for Diagnostic Medical Sonography program

Click to enlarge,  Krystal Lee is Central Carolina Community College Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Director.

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Krystal Lee is Central Carolina Community College Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Director. ... (more)

01.16.2018College & CommunityCollege GeneralCurriculum Programs

SANFORD - A new healthcare degree will be offered at Central Carolina Community College next fall, when Diagnostic Medical Sonography is added to an extensive health technologies portfolio that already includes study in fields including nursing, medical assisting, dental hygiene, and health information technology.

Applications are now being accepted for the first class of eight students, who will work toward the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Medical Sonography, pending final approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accreditation agency.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography teaches students how to operate ultrasound equipment and create images that help physicians assess and diagnose medical conditions. Ultrasound also provides real-time information for surgeons performing invasive medical procedures.

"Sonography is vital to healthcare," said Krystal Lee, director of the program. "This is the only modality where we're not depending entirely on the machine. CT, MRI, and X-ray machines produce images, too, but technologists simply operate and monitor the machines. With ultrasound, the technologist has to produce the images.

"If technologists are not skilled and they don't show the doctor what the pathology is, then medical care suffers."

Students completing the five-semester degree begin with a few foundational courses before moving into the process and medical applications of sonography. Clinical courses beginning the second semester allow students to put their knowledge and skills into practice. The CCCC degree currently focuses on general sonography, though college officials say the program could be expanded in the future to offer specialty tracks in common practices like cardiology and vascular.

CCCC's degree program uses cutting-edge simulation equipment being installed in the ultrasound scanning lab of a new health sciences center being constructed now on the Lee Main Campus in Sanford. It further expands what Associate Dean Denise Martin describes as an "amazing" portfolio of healthcare programs. "Our Diagnostic Medical Sonography program," she says, "will be just as dynamic as the rest of our programs."

Martin says CCCC decided to offer the new degree because of a growing demand in the region.

Lee believes that trend offers lucrative opportunity for graduates in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that national growth in the general field is currently more than twice the rate for all occupations. The median annual income for technicians nationally is $69,650 -- and even more in the nearby Raleigh and Durham-Chapel Hill regions.

"The field of ultrasound is growing by leaps and bounds," Lee said. "It's very much in demand."

Anyone interested in Diagnostic Medical Sonography at CCCC can find information and admission packages online at www.cccc.edu/curriculum/majors/dms. Prospective students with specific questions also may contact admissions specialist Aaron Mabe at 919-718-7236 or amabe@cccc.edu or program director Krystal Lee at 919-718-7342 or klee@cccc.edu.