Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Direct Patient Care

Direct Patient Care

CDC Definition:
Under the NHSN Healthcare personnel safety component key terms the CDC defines Direct Patient Care:
“Hands on, face to face contact with patients for the purpose of diagnosis, treatment and monitoring.” Last updated January 1, 2013

The Association for American Medical Colleges posted an article that better defines the ways to attain the patient care hours without shadowing. This article is up to date as of 2018. It can be found at:

“Five Ways to Gain Experience Without Shadowing”

  1. Hospice Volunteer. The Hospice Foundation of America ( can assist you in locating a facility in your area.
  2. Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). This certification can be attained through local colleges, vocational schools and The Red Cross. Employment or volunteering opportunities in this field can apply as long as you are providing the care required of the CNA directly to the patients and reporting to the RN or MD on duty.
  3. Volunteer EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). This may be offered in your local area. Fire Departments and/or Ambulance companies may offer this benefit for hands on experience.
  4. Hospital Scribe (this option is usually for the individuals who are going more for Physician Assistant or MD. This pathway of experience described in the article does not apply to the DMS program requirements.)
    Hospitals offer a volunteer program for other departments such as Surgery Centers, Emergency Rooms and Medical Surgical units. These programs may have what the Direct Patient Care requirement stipulates (Reporting to an RN, MD, RDMS, etc.) When contacting the hospitals please make sure you are requesting Direct Patient Care.
  5. Caretaker. (This pathway of experience described in the article does not apply to the DMS program requirements)
    In-Home Care Services that are assigned by a Private Company or County Program may qualify. The requirements for your duties would need to include Patient’s basic living assistance such as transferring patients from bed to chairs, bathing, dressing, feeding, vital signs (Temp, B/P, heart rate, respirations, daily weights, etc.) Exercising such as rehab facility’s assignment for patients with Strokes or Heart issues. Private home care for a direct family member does not qualify. You must be working through an approved medical company that has an RN/MD on staff that you report to.

For any questions not answered above, please call DMS Program Coordinator’s office at 916-691-7345.

file icon.Direct_Patient_Care_Letterhead_Example.pdf