Spring, 2016

NCUS Newsletter Spring, 2016

Hello, NCUS general members! I hope you enjoy the Summer 2016 edition of our newsletter. In it, you will have the opportunity to meet our new Board President, Mike Foster and get his recap of this year’s Spring Symposium including information on the activity winners and award recipients. With great excitement, we also officially unveil the new NCUS Foundation and its annual symposium grants available to sonographers to pay meeting registration fees.

This year, we welcomed David Wood, RDCS and Dr. Helena Summers, MD to our board as new members. David was gracious enough to provide us with an interesting article, ‘Scanning Against the Clock.’ We also say goodbye to last year’s board student mentoree, Emily Bouchard who submitted a Case of the Day to test your diagnostic skills.

Other wonderful news of the day: According to Dr. Kremkau, NCUS has grown larger than the Michigan Society and we are officially the largest state sonography association in the country! We owe that to you, dear members, and your continued participation.

In addition, look for a mention of NCUS in Steven Penny’s new sonography book. We appreciate his long-term support and involvement in NCUS and look forward to many more collaborations.

Mark Saturday, October 22nd on your calendars and join us in Greenville, NC at the Eastern Carolina Heart Institute Conference Center for our fall symposium!

As always, I am available for your questions, comments, criticisms, submissions, and suggestions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The newsletter is print ready and easy to share with your co-workers, so get the word out!

Have a great summer!

Hudson O’Keefe, RDMS, RVT, BA

After another successful Spring Symposium and my first as NCUS Board President, my first objective is to look at the members’ feedback regarding our lectures, activities, and facilities. Your suggested topics, future speakers, likes, and dislikes are all taken into consideration by the board members as we plan future symposiums. I really appreciate all who took the time to fill out the evaluations. We continually strive to meet your needs and provide a fun, informative environment for all North Carolina sonographers.

Whether as a society, sonographer, or a private person, receiving feedback gives us all opportunities to improve what we offer and how we interact with other healthcare professionals, patients, and each other. Personally and professionally, I look for ways to use feedback to become a better sonographer, board president, and person.

As such, I work to remain open to criticism. Some past feedback is easy to absorb such as “The speakers were so much fun and informative!” or “Love Friday offerings, please continue!”

The North Carolina Ultrasound Society is currently the largest and most active state level professional sonography organization in the country. We strive to offer educational opportunities that feature nationally known speakers as well as sonography professionals within our own communities. There is no doubt that there is a positive influence and benefit of attending these conferences; but unfortunately for some, attendance is impossible due to financial hardship. To address this concern, on behalf of the North Carolina Ultrasound society, I would like to introduce, new for 2016, the North Carolina Ultrasound Society Foundation!

The NCUS Foundation mission is to provide educational opportunities in the field of diagnostic medical sonography to North Carolina sonographers and sonography students who otherwise may not be able to attend due to financial hardship. There is a lot of growth and potential for this Foundation moving forward. I envision one day the Foundation being a significant contributor to many deserving recipients annually. At this time, this Foundation will provide for the registration fees of 2 individuals to attend Spring Conferences, specifically one sonographer and one sonography student per year. There is an application process, and an application period, which is November 1st to December 31st. Check out ncus.org/foundation for all the information.

The NCUS 2016 Spring Symposium, held April 8-10th, was a truly a great meeting with knowledgeable, engaging speakers, exciting student competitions, and a fun location at the Benton Convention Center in downtown Winston-Salem, NC. Past President Marta Thorup introduced the new NCUS foundation which serves to help a sonographer attend the sessions. Thanks Marta for your work on this very thoughtful addition to our society!

Dr. Joe Kisslo from Duke Cardiology gave a fantastic keynote lecture about the importance of connections, beginning with the people instrumental in moving ultrasound to the main stage as a core modality in healthcare. He reminded us that networking is critical to advancement for the field of sonography and for each of us as professionals. He stressed the need for communication amongst ourselves including sharing information about what we do and how we do it. These symposiums are a great and fun way to do that!

If you are interested in joining North Carolina Ultrasound Society at our Fall 2016 Symposium as a presenter we would love to hear from you! This conference will be held at the East Carolina Heart Institute Conference Center on October 22, 2016. Ultrasound topics will be presented in areas of Adult and Pediatric Echocardiography, General Ultrasound, OB/GYN, and Vascular specialties.  

This is a friendly and supportive time/setting to build up your public speaking muscles, and an awesome opportunity to help your fellow sonographers build their professional knowledge! 

Contact NCUS Central Office for more information. 

There is an alarming trend spreading throughout the medical industry and it is filtering down to sonography labs consequently effecting patients, sonographers and students. With increasing frequency hospital and medical center administrators are asking their departments to do more with less. Essentially, the lab is treated like a manufacturing plant where the staff is creating widgets. The staff professionals are asked to become more efficient and to work harder so they can produce more widgets in a shorter period of time. This type of management does not account for the fact that no two widgets, or as we prefer to call them, patients, are the same.

On the other side of the equation are professional organizations such as the American Society of Echocardiography(ASE) and the Inter-societal Accreditation Commission on Echocardiography which say that 45-60 minutes should be allotted for each exam and an additional 15-30 minutes should be allotted for reporting afterwards. It is not possible for a sonographer to complete 8-14 scans, or sometimes more, in an 8-hour day and spend the appropriate amount of time with each patient. As sonographers are pushed to do more, the patient, sonographer, and student suffer.

Patients suffer in this equation by having their exams performed hastily. Sonographers are pushed to get studies done and consequently don’t spend the time with each patient that is recommended. Because the studies are rushed, subtle and sometimes critical things in the imaging field or in the patient history may be missed. The patient may feel rushed and have lower satisfaction with their level of care.

Patient History
After a checkup with primary physician, 22-year-old female patient presented to the Sonography Department with palpable masses felt in both breasts. Patient states that she noticed the bilateral breast masses 3 years prior. Patient was 9 weeks pregnant. 1
Other possible signs and symptoms
Painful or painless palpable breast mass(es)
Mass may be large enough to stretch skin
Sonographic appearance
Heterogeneous, solid-appearing mass with cleft like cystic spaces and demonstrating posterior acoustic enhancement. Often contain both stromal and glandular tissue. Vascularization present in the solid components. 2