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South Hills Community News Release
STATE COLLEGE — December is a busy time for South Hills School of Business & Technology's third-year Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) students as they prepare to begin their clinical internships in January. The 5-day week is crammed full of instructions on institutional policies, HIPAA compliance, clinical procedures, and internship documentation.
“This is what the students have been working toward since their first day in the program,” said Tricia Turner, DMS Program Director. ”They have passed all their written exams and scanning competency assessments, and will now have the opportunity to use their knowledge and skills in a real patient care setting."
Before beginning the internship, each student will have visited their clinical site with a South Hills faculty member. “During the initial visit, we introduce the student intern to the institution’s staff and work out details such as uniform, hours, and student parking,” said Ms. Turner. “The student usually gets a tour of the department and often receives tips on finding housing in the local area, if needed.”
Graduates of the DMS program earn an Associate Degree in Specialized Technology (AST) after three years of study divided into nine terms. The last two terms of the program include 870 hours of clinical internship. These internships typically start at the beginning of January and continue through the second week of June. Students are evaluated at their internship sites by clinical staff and by South Hills faculty.
In addition to the DMS specialized associate degree program, South Hills also offers a shorter, 6-term diploma program for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in any subject as well as a 5-term diploma program for students who already have a previous 2-year or 4-year degree in a medical imaging specialty. “The last five terms of the three programs are identical," said Ms. Turner. “Students from all three programs join the same cohort from that point forward.”
During the internship, students return to the school for one day every 3-4 weeks. Typically on a Friday, these all-day sessions include clinical case presentations which the students create and present to their classmates and faculty.
South Hills has contractual agreements for clinical internships at hospitals and healthcare facilities over a large geographical area. “The majority of our internships are located in the Northeast; however, we also have affiliates in Virginia, Illinois, Tennessee, and Florida,” said Ms. Turner.