Mission and Goals


The Vanderbilt DMS Program is dedicated to providing quality education for its students in order to promote excellence in the art and science of sonography. Guided by the Mission of the Medical Center, the Program strives to provide academic and clinical experiences that produce competent and compassionate sonographers with a commitment to the performance of quality imaging and the pursuit of lifelong learning.

It is the philosophy of the Program that all patients have the right to receive competent and compassionate care to promote overall health and wellness. Diagnostic medical sonographers must possess the skills and knowledge necessary to think critically during the delivery of such care while performing sonographic procedures. The Program is committed to providing the healthcare system with sonographers who are competent and compassionate critical thinkers with a goal of continuously learning throughout their career.


The sonography profession requires the ability to provide diagnostic sonographic imaging utilizing critical thinking skills to make judgments in the process. Sonographers are professionals who must possess high level skills in diagnostic sonographic techniques under the guidance of a licensed physician. A sonographer is responsible for providing excellent patient care and gathering adequate data necessary for diagnoses to be determined.

The Vanderbilt DMS Program’s goal is to prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. Graduates of the Vanderbilt DMS Program will be able to perform, at minimum, the following objectives:

Cognitive Objectives

  • Obtain, review and integrate pertinent patient data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills during the performance of sonographic procedures to provide optimum diagnostic services.

Psychomotor Objectives

  • Perform sonographic procedures appropriately and accurately recording all anatomic and physiologic information for interpretation by a physician.
  • Document and present complete and accurate sonographic findings to the interpreting physician in order to facilitate patient diagnosis.
  • Maintain optimal function of the sonographic equipment.
  • Assist physician during invasive ultrasound guided procedures.

Affective Objectives

  • Demonstrate effective communication skills with patients and all members of the healthcare team.
  • Provide compassionate patient care and education to promote overall well-being.
  • Act in a professional manner within recognized ethical and legal standards.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning.

Upon graduation, students will have demonstrated and completed all clinical and academic competencies required for eligibility to take the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) certification exams in the area(s) of study.