Spring, 2018

Spring, 2018

Hello NCUS members and affiliates!

My name is Amber McCraw and I am honored to serve as your President for 2018/2019.
I have served NCUS as a board member for the past six years. One of my favorite things about serving on the board is I have the opportunity to meet new people and network with sonographers across the state.

I live in Monroe, North Carolina with my husband and three children. I work full time at South Piedmont Community College as the Clinical Coordinator for their Medical Sonography program. I enjoy teaching my students and helping them become successful sonographers.

Our 37th Annual Spring Symposium was held at Grande Dunes Marriott in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina April 13th-15th , 2018. The resort was beautiful! We received so much positive feedback about the conference amenities, the resort, and the speakers. This was the first conference we used the Whova conference App and found it to be very useful and convenient.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to make this symposium successful, with a special thank you to our past president Cristy Webster. Great job Cristy!

I would like to welcome the following new board members: Kris Bottiglier, Adelia Bullins, Ruben Centeno, Irina Makovskaya, Ashley Tyson and Megan Wyatt. I look forward to working with all of you.

The following board members retired from the board: Rhonda Thomas, Amy Almond and Michelle Dail. Thank you for your dedication and time served on the board. Your presence will be greatly missed.

Congratulations to Marta Thorup who was named the NCUS Sonographer of Excellence for 2018. Marta has served on the board for 7 years in various roles including President, and NCUS Foundation Chair. This award is well deserved Marta. Enjoy your time in the spotlight.

Thank you for all the donations that help support the NCUS Foundation. Your donations paid for two very grateful sonographers, Anne Kelley and Emily Dolin, to attend the spring 2018 symposium.

NCUS could not be successful without the support of our students and educators. We appreciate everyone who participated in the Quiz Bowl and Scientific Competitions. Congratulations to the following winners of the various competitions:

Quiz Bowl

"The Clot Busters"
Johnston Community College
 - Lauren Miller
 - Kristy Babcock
 - Whitney Byrd

"JCC Cytas"
 Johnston Community College
 -Madison Twigg
 - Lauren Alexander
 - Chelsey McDaniels

Scientific Exhibit Winners
1st Place (GENERAL)- Elizabeth Dean
“Placenta Previa”
Pitt Community College
1st Place (ECHO) - Monica McNamara
“The Jatene Procedure - The Switch”
Johnston Community College
2nd Place (GENERAL)- Carla Hudson
“Automated Breast Ultrasound Scanning”
Johnston Community College
2nd Place (ECHO)- Megan Sheets
“Vascular 555 - Subclavian Steal Syndrome”
Cape Fear Community College
3rd Place (GENERAL) - Madison Twigg
“Smart Phones in Ultrasound”
Johnston Community College
3rd Place (ECHO)- Wendy Porter Johnston
“Leadless Pacemakers”
Johnston Community College

October 20th, 2018 - Fall Conference at The Friday Center in Chapel Hill.
April 12-14, 2019 - Spring 2019 Conference at the Embassy Suites in Concord, NC.

I look forward to serving as your President this year, working with my fellow board of directors to continue working to create a state ultrasound society that best serves the sonographers of this great state.

Amber McCraw RDMS, RVT
Laura Currie working on NCUS tasks late at night

Working with Laura over the years has been a pleasure.  She is a true professional, solving problems, organizing meetings, and helping the society through turbulent times to a place with a secure future.  We would not be where we are without Laura's tireless efforts.
John Cotton

Laura Currie has been the Central Office Administrator for the North Carolina Ultrasound Society since August 2011.  She has such a passion for the field of Ultrasound, teaching students and running the Society. She has been a member since the beginning and a Past President. Laura has done an amazing job. Dr. John Cotton presented her with a card from the board and a check. It will be my pleasure to take over the incredible job she has done - I have some big shoes to fill. Luckily she will never be far away.
Rhonda Thomas

Laura was an innovator. She was tireless in finding ways to do things that best benefited the society. She will always be an NCUS treasure!
Diana Strickland

I’ve always been so impressed with Laura’s dedication to her family, work, and NCUS. I see her quietly pushing through the overwhelming tasks required of her for years without any complaint. I literally have never heard her complain a single time. She is a good example to me, and to all of us. Thank you Laura! 
Marta Thorup 

Laura, thanks for all you have done for the NCUS!  Over the years, your hard work and sacrifice have made the NCUS an amazing success.   We will miss you!  
Amy Almond 

Laura, What a Godsend you’ve been for me all these years on the Board of Directors!  Not only were you super-efficient, you always had such a great attitude about everything... even when things didn’t always go as planned! You made all my lectures as easy as just showing up and knowing that everything was taken care of! I’ve loved getting to know you over all the years we’ve served together and I know you are going to be sorely missed by everyone in your role as secretary!  
Chris Mann

It has been a pleasure working with Laura. She is so patient with me and my forgetfulness. Laura’s experience and dedication has been priceless. Her good sense of humor makes it a lot of fun. I hope I can be more like her for other people.
Mike Foster

I appreciated all the help that Laura has provided to me as a board member. She was available at just about any time of the day or night. To me, she is the embodiment of the NCUS!
Brian Kilpatrick 

Laura is truly an amazing, well organized , easy going, and the person who is always willing to help.
Cristy Webster 

I felt immediately comfortable with Laura. If anyone ever has a question she stops what she's doing and gives her attention. That, to me, was amazing.
Jeff Jewell

Laura is dedicated the profession of Sonography and has been my side kick at work for several years. She is a person with such grace always thinking of others, and giving much of her time and energy to bettering what she values in life.
Angela Hansen 

I happen to be very blessed to be Laura's coworker, her love for sharing her wealth of knowledge is inspiring. She has a passion for our field of ultrasound that is unmatched. Good luck Laura! You may be stepping down but I'm lucky to have you down the hall
Kris Bottiglier

Laura has always been one of the most pleasant people I have ever met.  She is always friendly and helpful.  Organizing funding through a school has always been complicated and usually late but Laura was always helpful and understanding.  She was always on top of things and made the process smoother.  Working with Laura was one of things I looked forward to the most at the NCUS meetings.  Thank you for everything and especially for all your help.
David Wood

Laura is an amazing lady, knowledgeable instructor, and outstanding sonographer.  She is encouraging, kind, and very organized, being a huge asset to the NCUS and profession.  May God abundantly bless her in all her new endeavors!
Cathy H. Daniels

  Being involved in NCUS for only a short period of time I have been consistently impressed by Laura's organizational skills and how she keeps calm under pressure.  Even as an outsider one can tell she has been the glue that has kept it all together for the group.  Her dedication to NCUS and the sonography community is remarkable.  She will be missed!

Amy T. Dela Cruz

Laura is so amazing! She has so much knowledge and love to share!  I’ve felt and seen your encouragement and enthusiasm for everyone you meet.  You have been a Blessing in my life and to the NCUS! Thank you for being you!  
Devon Allred

Laura has been a good friend and colleague for many years.  I have had the pleasure of working with Laura on the NCUS BOD, as a fellow NC Educator and last as the BOD with her as NCUS Systems Coordinator.   I wish Laura continued success in all her future endeavors.   
Mary Alice Bradley

Laura Currie is always available.  Laura worked especially hard at answering questions, problem solving, and concerns.  Laura is a peace maker and appreciated everyone's input.  Laura's work experience showed a true desire to provide excellent patient care.  She was a valuable contribution to the NCUS.
Michelle Dail

A simple thank you just doesn’t seem adequate for all the things she has done for this organization. There is no doubt in my mind our profession is better because of people like her. Thank you

Dena Smith

Thank you for all the time and huge effort you put into all you have done for us.  It is sooooooo appreciated.  Your shoes will be hard to fill.  Enjoy your time for yourself.

Adelia Bullens

Over the last six years, Madam Currie has been a teacher, mentor, professional associate and friend to me.  I have always admired her grace and kindness under pressure.  Her choice to double as CFCC instructor and administrative (assistant?) to the NCUS board over these years definitely gave her ample opportunity to practice it! While I am more than confident that (Rhonda Thomas?) is an excellent choice as Laura's successor, I know she will be missed throughout the North Carolina sonography community as our go-to for information, problems, and inspiration. I am looking forward to a more rested Laura with a few new openings in her schedule for lunch or coffee though!  Thank you, Laura, for everything.  Your presence in my development has spurred me on to continued self-development and made me a better Sonographer.  I will always be grateful.
Hudson O'Keefe

Laura, I am so honored to have been your student because without your guidance I probably would’ve never become the NCUS student mentee. Working alongside you and the other board members has truly been an eye opening & life changing experience for me. I can most definitely see myself becoming a part of team one day! Throughout this year I have watched you pour your heart & soul into this society and our events. It became very clear to me, early on, that you are the glue that holds us together and keeps us on task! You are the “behind the scenes” director ensuring that no stone is left unturned. I have watched you stay up until the wee hours of the morning making sure that everything was set up perfectly for the next day. You have sacrificed your own sleep & meals, making certain that everything were running smoothly & that everyone was having a good time! Those acts speak volumes about the type of person you are...passionate, caring, considerate, and self-sacrificing. Not only that, but you are one of the most HUMBLE human beings that I have ever met! You never boast about what you do or have done; instead, you simply EARN the respect & admiration from everyone around you, which is a characteristic that I highly appreciate!! I wish I was able to work with you longer than this, but even so, I am grateful for time that I did get to assist you. You have shown me a lot, and I plan on trying to build from your footsteps! Thank you SO MUCH for everything you have taught me, and I promise to always stay in touch! Thanks again for everything!! 
Jessica Pizzo

Laura seemed to be the most important mechanism of the society and knew answers to all questions. We will miss her.
Irina Makovskaya

I haven’t been able to help Laura, every time I had offerings my help she had already been done with the task. Does she ever rest?
Ruben Centeno

Laura Currie training Rhonda Thomas to take over as NCUS Central Office Administrator
Click here to open the Keynote Address Highlights
Jeff is a clinical instructor in Pediatric Sonography at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He holds specialties in Adult Echo and Pediatric Echo.​

"Stay professional."  "Let's practice some professionalism." "That's not professional attire."  As sonographers, we are always being reminded to be, act, and look professional.  The problem is that my definition of professionalism for a sonographer may be different from your definition of professionalism, and there doesn't seem to be a standard.  So, let's begin defining what we mean by professionalism and share it with our sonography community.

1. Keep the environment clean. 
From the waiting area to the sonography room, clutter and dirty linen show a lack of commitment to the patient's safety and indifference for the patient as a customer.​

2. Dress appropriately.
The patient gets an impression of us the moment we walk into the room. The way we present ourselves, including our clothing and appearance, sends a message to the patient about our level of competence before we've spoken a single word.  3.  Greet patients in a courteous manner.  
I have seen too many sonographers greet their patients as if they were serving customers at the DMV.  Everyone has a right to be treated with kindness and respect.  A smile and polite description of what you will be doing goes a long way at putting people at ease.

4. Focus your attention.
Our goal is to provide great care to every patient.  We can't do that if we haven't listened actively to what our patient or another staff member is telling us.  So, be completely present in the moment and reply to texts or personal calls after the patient has left. 

5. Exude confidence.  
Stand straight, look people in the eyes while speaking, and try to keep hand gestures to a minimum. 

6.  Communicate your expertise…  
Many of us are technical experts in the field of sonography and know how it relates to the bigger picture of medicine. Share this expertise with physicians and staff by explaining a complex study when appropriate. You will usually find that your opinions are appreciated and valued.

7. …and Learn from others.  
When we are open to really listening to our coworkers' ideas, we can expand our knowledge of the field and learn new ways of working more efficiently. 

8. Mentor new sonographers.  
How many of us began our careers wishing we had someone on the job willing to teach and guide us?  Be that teacher. Choose to mentor new practitioners and answer their questions.  They will grow in their skills and, consequently, provide better patient care. Mentoring others also reflects well on us by demonstrating that we have a good grasp of not only sonography but also how it relates to all of medicine.

9. Abide by a set of morals. 
Honesty, integrity, and compassion seem to cover the basics.

10. Demonstrate humility. 
Everyone makes mistakes.  How we accept responsibility for our mistakes and deal with the consequences show our true character.  
Click here to open the Case Study
Marta Thorup, RVT, RDMS (ABD, OBGYN, BR)

Marta Thorup has been recognized by North Carolina Ultrasound Society with the 2018 Sonographer Excellence Award, for her outstanding service and dedication in the field of Sonography. She is a 2007 graduate of Cape Fear Community College Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. She has been performing ultrasound for over 11 years at Dosher Memorial hospital in Southport, NC. She has served on the North Carolina Ultrasound Society board of directors since 2011. She served as NCUS president and created the North Carolina Ultrasound Society Foundation Grant.

What made you interested in the field of diagnostic medical sonography?

Once my 3rd child went into kindergarten it was time for me to go back to school. I knew I wanted to be in medicine in some capacity to be able to speak the language of medicine so I could help keep my own family safe. I had a friend in the Cape Fear Community College’s first year of the DMS program. She told me it was highly competitive to get in, fielding over 150 applicants for only 8 spots. So I applied and made on my first attempt. I began my sonography program with Laura Currie and Kellee Stacks leading the way and found them to be amazing educators and mentors to me.

Do you have any suggestions for sonography students?

At the time I graduated taking the physics board exam before graduation was not an option. So within the first year of graduation I took 5 board exams. First I took the General Physics, Vascular Physics, Vascular Technology, and became and RVT. Then proceeded with Abdominal and then OBGYN to get my RDMS. It took almost 2 years to log the required 800 breast ultrasound studies to sit for the breast board which was my last board exam making it a total of 6 board exams. I remember doing nothing but studying for exams the first year after graduation. I learned that it really is best to take these exams soon after graduation as opposed to waiting until later when you think you’ll have more time. So my suggestion for everyone is take all the board exams you can as soon as you can! Do not wait!

What do you like most about the profession?

I love being a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer and feel like I have the best career in the entire hospital for several reasons. Sonographers use both sides of the brain to do the job well. We have to be analytical medical problem solvers and also use our creative brain to use the ultrasound technology to create images that accurately depict an unlimited number of anatomical medical maladies. We are the eyes of the radiologist and if we don’t see pathology the radiologist won’t see pathology. That’s why sonographers must always push themselves to keep learning and growing. I am a better sonographer than I was 5 years ago, and I feel like I will be even better in 5 more years. Another aspect of the field that makes it the best is the opportunity to get to know our patients well. Great conversations occur while scanning and I’ve grown to appreciate my patients very much.
A 23 year old African American G2P1 was referred for a detailed study in the High Risk OB Ultrasound Clinic for fetal umbilical cord cysts identified at the fetal cord insertion site. Two separate cystic structures were identified that appeared to herniate at the cord insertion site. No evidence of herniating bowel, stomach, or liver. No other anomalies seen. Largest cyst measured 29 x 23 mm. The cysts most likely represent umbilical cord cysts; however; urachal anomaly could not be ruled out.

Further studies showed persistent cord cysts and the largest cyst measuring 38 x 33 mm. Additionally, the proximal cord contained an area of thick cystic Wharton’s jelly. A bladder herniation/omphalocele could not be ruled out.

Additional studies showed no significant changes.

Last follow-up study at 36 weeks showed persistent umbilical cord cysts. The umbilical cord at fetal insertion was examined. An Allantoic cyst was reported with patent urachus, flow was seen in umbilical arteries and the umbilical vein appeared normal.

The Pre-Op Diagnosis was- Umbilical Cord Cyst and Oophalocele.

The Post-Op Diagnosis report did confirm a Patent Urachus with umbilicl cord cysts.

Surgery Procedure Findings: Enlarged cystic umbilical cord, partial bladder herniation within cord with small urachus present.

Oomphalocele: An abdominal wall defect at the base of the umbilical cord insertion with herniation of abdominal contents.

Patent Urachus – The urachus is a remnant of a channel between the bladder and belly button. (umbilicus) This is where urine first drains in the fetus during the first trimester. This channel normally seals off and obliterates at 12 weeks of gestation. Patent urachus occurs when the urachus did not seal off and a connection remains between the bladder and the belly button. (umbilicus) This results in varying amounts of urine to leak at the umbilicus
Anne Kelley
I would like to sincerely thank the foundation and all the generous donors for the opportunity that the NCUS Foundation Annual Conference Grant provided me to attend the 2018 NCUS Medical Ultrasound Symposium this spring. While at the conference I was able to participate in all three days of events and earn 19 CME’s, providing exposure to many new and exciting facets of sonography that I had not yet seen as a first-year student. My favorite lectures during the conference were Current Technologies in Ultrasound & Hot Topics in Vascular, both presented by Traci Fox. Ms. Fox was a fun and engaging speaker who made the material relevant, interesting and informative.  I also enjoyed hearing from and meeting Mr. Randy Moore who lead the talk on The Role of Sonographers in Point of Care Ultrasound; after attending this session and learning more about MSK, I now intend to apply to SPCC’s Musculoskeletal Sonography program post-graduation from South College next year. Most of all, I benefited greatly from the Friday Physics lecture presented by Frederick Kremkau. I plan to take my SPI exam this spring and attending his lecture provided clarity on some of the more challenging topics of physics as well as giving me some new ways to remember and apply several of the key principles. Overall the symposium was an amazing experience that allowed me to get more exposure into the world of ultrasound, attend interesting lectures, and network with other NCUS members and key partners within the ultrasound community. These conferences are such a valuable resource for new sonographers and I thoroughly look forward to attending again next year in Concord.
Thank you again for this opportunity,
Anne Kelley

Emily Dolin
Going to the NCUS Spring conference 2018 was an extremely beneficial learning experience. I was able to attend the three day conference all thanks to the NCUS foundation Grant. The NCUS foundation is a great thing to be a part of and is full of many talented, knowledgeable, and personable people. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the conference and was able to gain a tremendous amount of beneficial information, especially for my OB/GYN boards. Throughout the course of the weekend, many seminars were going on and you were able to pick which was most interesting to you. I primarily stuck with seminars relating to OB/GYN, but did branch out and hear others such as about vascular studies, and certain abdominal pathologies. I was able to listen to Mani Montazemi quite a few times and thoroughly enjoyed his sessions. He seems to be truly passionate about what he does and it shows through his way of teaching. I was able to gain something from each seminar, which truly has helped me as I prepare to sit for my boards. I want to thoroughly thank all of the donors for making these events possible, NCUS for the opportunity to attend the three day conference, and also to all of the board members that plan and make the event come to life. I plan to regularly attend these conferences as an Ultrasound Tech and would highly recommend them to others as well.
Thank you again,
Emily Dolin