Fall, 2015

Fall, 2015

Thanks for taking a break from the holiday shopping, decorating, and cooking to read our newsletter. We think it will be worth your while. This edition includes discussions about the new midwife sonography certificate as well as the pros and cons of being a contract sonographer. We also have an interesting case study on late onset PCS from this year’s board mentoree, Emily Bouchard. Wondering what PCS is? Read on…

NCUS President Chris Mann brings us the latest news in the development of the 2016 Spring Symposium. Have you put in your time off request to attend? As this year proved, time goes quickly and gets away from us easily so set aside April 8-10 now. And hey! April 8th is also my birthday in case you needed yet another reason to come to Winston Salem besides the lectures, the CMEs, the nifty new ultrasound machines, and those friends you haven’t seen since school.

As always, your input is not only welcome but encouraged for future newsletters. We want to provide material that is relevant to you so email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any comments, suggestions, or critiques. I look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Holidays,
Hudson O’Keefe

Happy Fall, everyone! Leaves are changing and the Holidays are right around the corner. Another year is drawing to a close.
In October, we enjoyed a day full of learning and fellowship at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill. Our thanks go out to board member and future president, Mike Foster for putting together a great line up of speakers for the fall meeting.

Participants also enjoyed visiting all of our valued vendors who came out to support the cause and show us the latest and greatest they have to offer. There is some exciting technology coming down the pike and NCUS conferences are a great way to learn about it.

It’s time to shift our focus to the Spring Symposium which is being held at the Benton Convention Center in Winston Salem on April 8-10, 2016. We are fortunate to have some favorite speakers join us again this year, such as Dr. Kremkau for “Physics Friday”, Mani Montezemi, as well as some new faces. In addition, Duke Cardiologist, Dr. Joseph Kisslo will be giving Saturday’s keynote address.

There will be some exciting rivalry between sonography schools during the Quiz Bowl competition with all new questions designed to test the knowledge of North Carolina’s best and brightest. Join us and cheer on your alma mater as they battle it out for the Golden Probe Friday night!

As always we strive to tailor these meetings around the wants and needs of our members, so if you have any suggestions of topics, speakers, or activities, please contact me personally as soon as possible. I will do my very best to make it happen and ensure that your time and money are well spent in Winston Salem this year!

Remember to renew your NCUS membership to receive the greatly reduced membership symposium rate. Check the website for registration information after the New Year. Everyone have a great rest of 2015 and we will see you at the Spring Meeting!

Chris Mann, RDCS, RCS, FASE
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This year, the ARDMS created a Midwife Sonography Certificate based on a needs analysis survey conducted in 2013 in conjunction with the American College of Nurse Midwives®. In Spring, 2016, the first examinations will be held in testing centers throughout North America. For more information and explanation of the certification requirements, visit the follow sites:

ACNM www.midwife.org/midwife-sonography-certification
ARDMS www.ardms.org/get-certified/midwifery/pages/midwife.aspx

As with all things ultrasound, we sonographers have opinions, varied and frequently strong. We at NCUS were curious to learn more about the North Carolina Sonography and Midwife communities’ thoughts and/or concerns about this new program. NCUS board member and OB sonographer, Michelle Dail reached out to members of those communities for their opinions. Of course, no one person can speak for their entire community but perhaps what follows will be sufficient to begin the conversation.

My name is Teresa and I have been a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer for 34 years. I am a charter member of the North Carolina Ultrasound Society and have been involved with the society in one capacity or another ever since. 34 years. That’s longer than a lot of you have been on this earth! I was asked to write an article for this newsletter about my experience as a contract sonographer. I have scanned for 35 years but it’s been longer than that since I’ve had to write a paper, so bear with me!

I was fortunate to have attended school for Sonography in a time when 99% of sonographers had to learn on the job. I attended the UNC/NC Memorial Hospital certificate program for one year. My first job was with Bowman Gray School of Medicine (now Wake Forest University Medical School) teaching in their Postgraduate Course in Medical Sonics.

I taught scanning labs in most specialties which exposed me to almost every ultrasound instrument being made, since the school did not own its instruments. All the instruments used for teaching were loaned by the manufacturing companies. Of course the instruments weren’t as sophisticated as they are now, but I worked with every instrument brought into the scanning labs. This taught me to not be intimidated by new technology and equipment - I knew I could not permanently damage an instrument (within reason) and that if I pressed a wrong button, it would not explode!

The 2015/2016 NCUS Board Mentoree is Emily Bouchard, a first year student at Johnston Community College. We were able to talk with her at the fall conference in Chapel Hill, NC.

What led to your interest in becoming a sonographer?
A personal interest in biology coupled with a personal history of various sonograms first piqued my interest in sonography.  A strong family history of breast cancer led me to want to pursue a career in breast health care.  Sonography allows me to work in breast health care with limited radiation exposure while still providing one-on-one care to patients.  Furthermore, the versatility of sonography allows for diversity in the future, whether that be exploring other specialties within sonography or exploring research opportunities.

What do you hope to do once you graduate?
I hope to work in a breast health care facility upon graduation, with an ultimate goal of working in a research environment.

What has been your experience so far working with the NCUS as a mentoree?
I received valuable feedback on my case study from my mentor.  I learned a great deal from the various lectures that I was able to attend during the Fall symposium, as well.

Do you think being an active member of NCUS will aid you in your sonography career?  If so, how?
I feel that being an active member of NCUS will provide valuable networking opportunities, as well as access to useful learning and training material.  I think that it is important to continue to learn in any career path.  Making connections with other sonographers can be gratifying as well.  Whether to commiserate or share interesting new techniques or success stories, I hope to feel part of a community as a NCUS member.  

What would you like NCUS members to know about you?
I am pleased to be part of the NCUS mentor program and look forward to meeting fellow members in the future.

Can you tell us about an interesting or impactful patient interaction you have had in your clinical rotations?  (without violating HIPAA)
I have been fortunate to have learned from a compassionate group of sonographers during the first 8 weeks of clinical rotation.  I have been taught directly and by example that professionalism, kindness and patient dignity are essential to sonography.  Furthermore, I have observed the importance of being thorough and doing my best to provide clear images that allow for accurate diagnosis and treatment of patients.  

Patient presented in emergency room with abdominal pain.  Patient’s wife indicated that patient underwent cholecystectomy several years prior.  Review of previous records confirmed laparoscopic converted to open cholecystectomy for cholelithiasis and gangrenous cholecystisis five years prior.  Surgery notes indicated a drastically diseased gallbladder characterized as entirely necrotic rotting and leaking with gallstones.  However, gallbladder sonogram was ordered during this most recent ER visit when acute cholecystitis was suspected following an inconclusive CT of abdomen/pelvis with contrast and magnetic resonance imaging cholangiopancreatography (MRCP).  The gallbladder sonogram demonstrated a thickened gallbladder wall measuring 6.0 mm, echogenic stones and common bile duct measuring 5.6 mm.  Acute cholecystitis was considered.