Spring, 2019

Spring, 2019

Hello NCUS members and affiliates!

My name is Jeff Jewell and it is my great pleasure to serve as president for 2019-2020 of this wonderful institution. For almost six years I have had the joy of being on the board of directors and have gotten to fill several roles and gotten to interact with many wonderful individuals. One of the best things about being in this society is being actively involved with a diverse group of people. In one room we will have instructors from multiple programs, students, junior sonographers, and senior sonographers all intently listening and wanting to learn something new to take back to their institution. To stand back and breathe that in is such a wonderful feeling!

I live in North Raleigh with my wife. She has been my guiding light for the past 3 years of marriage. We have a blended family with her 2 sons and my 3 sons. I was in the U.S. Navy for 12 years and did my cardiovascular training at the Naval Hospital in Bethesda, MD. The Navy was a great adventure that I will always treasure. I learned amazing things from amazing people that shaped my life for entering the civilian world. My first position after the Navy was with a small hospital where I learned to do vascular studies. The manager there, Darren Campbell, was a great influence on me and remains a great friend to this day. I moved to UNC-Chapel Hill to do pediatric echoes, my passion. While there I was fortunate to have worked and trained with Dr. John Cotton. I will be forever in his debt for the time he spent answering all my questions. I have since moved to WakeMed Children’s Hospital to start a fledgling pediatric cardiology department.

I would like to thank everyone involved with making our 38th annual spring symposium at the Embassy Suites in Concorde, NC such a rousing success. It takes a lot of effort to make everything look effortless. It was a wonderful time and the hotel was fantastic.

I would like to welcome the following new board members: Jessica Pizzo and Dr. Peter Hindel. I truly look forward to working with all of you.

The following members retired from the board: Christy Webster and Dena Smith. Your dedication and time served are deeply valued and you will be missed.

Congratulations to Diane Reed who was named the NCUS Sonographer of Excellence for 2019. She was highly recommended by her peers and is a pillar of strength amongst her colleagues. Congratulations!

The 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:
‘Sea Devils’
Cape Fear Community College
-Lauren Gasque
-Ashton Strickland
-Taylor Bean

Asheville-Buncombe Technical College
-Ashley Gillet
-Vincent Gendusa
-Amy Taylor

Scientific Exhibit Winners:
1st place (General)- Holly Jones
1st Place (Echo)- Lauren Forsythe
2nd place (General)- Grasen Thaxter and Abbie Dawson
2nd Place (Echo)- Bonnie Spencer
3rd place (General)- Sarah Lambert

I look forward to this year as the NCUS president and I am very excited to see everyone in October at the Marriott in Carolina Beach!


Jeff Jewell, BS, RDCS
NCUS President

From left to right
Back row: Reuben Centeno, Dr. Peter Hindel, Dr. John Cotton (Treasurer), Robert Whaley (Vice President), Rhonda Thomas (Central Office Administrator), Adelia Bullins, and David Wood. Middle row: Amy Dela Cruz, Marta Thorup, Kris Bottiglier, Angela Hansen, Irina Makovskaya, Diana Strickland (President Elect), and Brian Kilpatrick.
Front row: Michael Foster, Jessica Pizzo (Secretary), Jeff Jewel (President), Megan Wyatt (Newsletter Editor), Ashley Tyson, and Amber McCraw (Past President). Absent: Devon Allred
Hello fellow sonographers, student members, and affiliates. It is a privilege and an honor to serve on the North Carolina Ultrasound Society Board of Directors, and as the Newsletter editor during the 2019/2020 term. The NCUS is the largest and most successful state society in the country, thanks to you, our members who continue to support and promote this amazing group. My first experience with NCUS was as a junior sonography student when I attended the Fall 2013 symposium at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill. During that symposium, my eyes were opened to all the benefits of membership with an amazing society such as this. I haven’t missed a single NCUS symposium since that very first one I attended as an enthusiastic student. After I graduated from the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at South Piedmont Community College in May of 2015, I stayed an active member of NCUS. The NCUS has provided me with so many opportunities for continued education, friendship, and a sense of belonging in a community of people who share the same passions as myself. Since that first symposium I attended in 2013, I’ve been eager to give back to the society in some way, because it been such a positive impact on my life and career.

My goal as Newsletter Editor is to provide you with interesting information about the science of ultrasound, profession of sonography, new technologies, details of upcoming NCUS events, and any other subjects you are interested in reading about. I invite you to email the central office This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any requests, suggestions, case studies, articles, or any other information you would like to see in the next newsletter.

Until the next time…take a deep breath, but don’t hold it!

Megan Wyatt RVT, RDMS (OB/GYN, AB)
NCUS Newsletter Editor
Congratulations to the following members for correctly guessing the diagnosis for the Case of the Day presentation:
  • Courtney Wheeler
  • Chelsea Ueltzen
  • Megan Wyatt
  • Bobbie Jean Schambers
  • Emily Vancore
Are you curious about the final diagnosis? Follow the link and see for yourself…

Final Diagnosis
I first learned about the NCUS mentee program through my instructors at Cape Fear Community College. I was excited to learn about the many things NCUS has to offer its student members, and I quickly became involved. The mentee program expanded my student experience by allowing me to better understand ultrasound technology. Some great advantages to the mentoring program were the skills I acquired, as well as the introduction I received into what it means to be a true professional. One of the first things mentees learn is the importance of being active in state professional sonography organizations. These organizations promote professional development by offering learning opportunities and keeping members up to date on the latest industry innovations. NCUS mentees learn how a professional organization is structured and governed. Mentees can attend board meetings, which allows them an opportunity to shape the future of the profession. The organization hosts two symposiums each year. Attendance fees are waived for student mentee members. These symposiums are fantastic opportunities for students to learn about the newest innovations, meet people in the industry, and see what is happening in different areas of the profession. Participating in the NCUS Mentoring Program augments student studies and provides opportunities for further education and understanding of sonographic practices. It allows students to complete case studies, which are featured in the NCUS newsletter, and displayed at the spring symposium. Exposure to these presentation skills prepares the future sonographer to grow in the profession. NCUS provides important opportunities for the professional. NCUS offers ways to meet continuing education requirements. It also provides an excellent opportunity to network, allowing members to facilitate connections and make professional relationships. It is a great way to find out about career opportunities. Mentoring is another rewarding component for professionals as it allows seasoned sonographers to guide future sonographers, giving them another opportunity to contribute to their profession. Becoming an NCUS mentee has expanded my learning, complementing both classroom studies and clinical practices. I highly recommend ultrasound students become involved. Interested students can visit the NCUS website to learn more about applying to the North Carolina Ultrasound Society Mentoring program.
The mission of the North Carolina Ultrasound Society Foundation is to provide educational opportunities in the field of diagnostic medical sonography to North Carolina sonographers and sonography students. The NCUS Foundation offers some financial assistance allowing recipients to attend NCUS professional education conferences who may otherwise not be able to attend.

The NCUS Annual Conference Grant Program covers the cost of registration fees to the next Annual NCUS Spring Conference. There may be 2 chosen per year, preferably 1 student and 1 sonographer, or if necessary 2 from the same category when required based on applicant submissions. At this time hotel, travel expenses, parking fees etc., are not covered by the NCUS Foundation. To learn more about the grant, or how to apply go to our website:


This year’s grant winners were Brittany Brookshire (Practicing sonographer at Atrium Health Northeast), and Autumn-Lynn Snowden (Sonography student at South Piedmont Community College).

It was an honor to receive the NCUS Foundation Grant. It was an amazing opportunity to learn from all the brilliant speakers. I chose to sit in on many of the OB/GYN seminars at this year’s 2019 Spring Symposium. The information I gathered at each session was invaluable. I can’t wait to apply this new knowledge in my future career. I learned the importance of critically thinking about spectral waveforms in both abdominal and OB/GYN exams, how to differentiate between different abnormalities of the posterior fossa in a fetus, and new treatments for acardiac twins. I appreciate everyone who made this opportunity possible.

Thank you all so much,
Autumn-Lynn Snowden

Thank you to all those who donated to the NCUS Foundation, who made it possible for me to attend the 2019 NCUS Spring Symposium. I also want to thank Marta Thorup for her efforts in creating the grant. I am so grateful for this opportunity. In just one weekend, I was able to receive 19 CME credits while learning from some of my favorite speakers. I saw many old faces who I’ve missed, and met many new ones. I had a blast at the symposium.

I focused mainly on attending the vascular sessions, were extra helpful this year as I plan to take my RVT soon. In 2016 I attended SPCC’s first ever MSK program, and plan to take my MSK registry exam next year. So, it was wonderful to hear Dr. Hindel’s MSK talk as well.

I must say, I loved the Whova app! Great job to those who introduced this awesome tool to the NCUS symposiums. I had a lot of fun using the app and quite a few laughs. The app made it so easy to keep up with the schedule and track my CMEs. This year’s symposium was by far my favorite, I will definitely be coming back. Thank you for the wonderful weekend and this amazing opportunity.

Brittany Brookshire RDMS
Elizabeth “Biffy” (Bryson) Jordan, the first president of the North Carolina Ultrasound Society, passed away on March 30th, 2019. Biffy worked in the field of sonography for many years, she was also an instructor of ultrasound at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill. She was a devoted member of NCUS, and a strong supporter of our mission. Many of you were lucky enough to have known Biffy, worked with her, served on the BOD along side her, or conversed with her at one of our symposiums. For those who never had the pleasure of meeting her, she was one of the kindest, most caring, bright spirited souls this world has ever known. Her positive nature was infectious. Biffy touched the lives of so many people in her lifetime, and she will be missed tremendously.

Please take a moment to read her obituary, and learn more about her amazing life and accomplishments: 
There are nine accredited general sonography schools in the State of North Carolina:
  • Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
  • Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute
  • Cape Fear Community College
  • Forsyth Technical Community College
  • Johnston Community College
  • Pitt Community College 
North Carolina
  • South College Asheville Learning Site
  • South Piedmont Community College
  • Southwestern Community College-Sylva
Central Carolina Community College is currently pending accreditation. At current enrollment volume of the 9 accredited schools, the state has the capacity to graduate 117 students each year.

Occupational employment projections for Diagnostic Medical Sonography from 2016-2026, produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, predicts an average of 150 job openings in the state of North Carolina per year.

At any one time many of the jobs listed are part time and PRN, of which one sonographer could hold more than one PRN or part time position. With the above job projections, and the addition of the sonography students soon to come from Central Carolina’s new Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, the job needs will be sufficiently met by these 10 schools. 
Board of Directors: NCUS members may use this online nomination form to submit their nominations for active NCUS members that may be interested in running in the next board of directors’ election, to serve as a board member for the term of 3 years. Nominees must be a member of North Carolina Ultrasound Society in good standing and be registered in good standing with ARDMS or its equivalent. Names will be presented to the general membership for a majority vote through a web-based election process, until the voting deadline. New board of directors will join the board at the board meeting held at the Spring Symposium.

To nominate an NCUS member to serve on the Board of Directors go to the following web site:
Deadline: July 31st 11:59 p.m. 

Nominations reopen yearly at Spring Symposium for the following year
Sonographer Excellence Award: Nominations for SEA will be collected and be evaluated by the NCUS SEA Committee. A member of this committee will contact the nominees for additional information. The Committee utilizes a point value system to determine the winner of the SEA Award. The winner will be announced during the Business Meeting every Spring Symposium.

Incomplete submissions will be discarded, so be sure to complete the nomination form entirely and by the posted deadline. There is a limit of 3 nominations per category per year. Any additional submissions over 3 will be discarded.

To nominate a member for the SEA award go to the following web site: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScJyMbOMzLii82B-hZNgDZSQP8EG9njDJwj_venKMSOfe7VZA/viewform

Deadline: October 31st 11:59 p.m.
Check out our Facebook page! What are you waiting for? While you’re there, please “like” and share our page. NCUS is the largest statewide ultrasound society in the United States. Nevertheless, we want more members. Social media is one of the best forms of advertisement. But we need you, our members, to help us get the word out there. With each “like” and share of our page we get a little more publicity. After you finish liking and sharing the page go check out the photo albums, previous posts from members, shared case studies and articles.

Any practicing sonographer working in the clinical world hears about patient satisfaction surveys and scores daily while at work. Many clinical healthcare workers will complain about the surveys, saying they’re a waste of time. Techs will tell you we are here to perform their ultrasound, the patients have no idea if the technologist is competent enough to do their test, or if it’s being done correctly. We’ve all heard a teammate make comments like “this isn’t a hotel” or “I’m not a waitress.” The cold hard fact is, for the most part it is not our capability to perform ultrasounds that secure our positions, it’s our customer service skills. Your patients remember the way they were treated and the way you made them feel while they were in your care. Patient’s won’t know if you scanned their left leg to evaluate for a DVT but you labeled every image as the right leg and had to spend 20 minutes fixing your annotations. Patients won’t know if you had to tell the radiologist you couldn’t calculated the mean sac diameter because you only took 2 measurements of the gestational sac. Customer service is key in any job requiring interaction with people, especially in healthcare. Patients will keep coming back to a facility, because they were made comfortable, their caregivers put them at ease, they felt like the techs cared about them and addressed their concerns. If you don’t provide these types of experiences, patients will find another facility for their imaging needs. Without patients, we are out of a job.

Recently I attended a supervisor symposium at Atrium Health. One of the lectures was about patient satisfaction, and the impact our level of care has on our patients. This concept was presented in a way I’d never considered before. I’m going to share that concept with you, but with a few added touches.

If you go to a business and pay for goods or services, you have certain standards which you expect to be met. Basically, you want to most bang for your buck. If you went to the following businesses, considering the cost of the service, as a customer what do you expect to get for your money?


Cost: $6.59
What you get: Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal, which includes medium french fries and medium soft drink.
Things you probably expect as a customer:
  • Order is correct, food is fresh and hot
  • Fries are salted
  • Fast service
  • Friendly staff
  • Clean environment
  • Clean/comfortable place to eat your meal

Jiffy Lube

Cost: $19.99
What you get: Standard oil change.
Things you probably expect as a customer:
  • Correct oil is used
  • New oil filter installed
  • Plug is put back in the oil drain pan
  • Timely service
  • Friendly, knowledgeable staff
  • Comfortable/clean waiting area
  • Clean restrooms
  • Vending machines

Dreams Dominicus La Romana

All Inclusive Resort, Domincan Republic
Cost: $659
What you get: 5 days, 4 nights with round trip air fare to and from Ft Lauderdale, FL. Limitless international and domestic top-shelf spirits, as well as all other drinks and food. 10 restaraunts. 6 Bars/Lounges, including a beach bar. 24-hour room service. 3 pools, with swim up bars. Massive infinity pool. Hot tubs. Lounge chairs with umbrellas. Pool and beach wait service, chilled beverages at your beck and call. Ping pong. Fitness center. Tennis courts. Game Room. Casino. Daytime activities to join at your leisure. Themed parties and live entertainment nightly. Daily maid service. Fully stocked mini-bar and snacks in your suite, replenished daily at no extra charge. Free Wi-Fi. TV with free cable in your room.

Things you probably expect as a customer:
  • Friendly and courteous staff
  • Comfortable bed with clean linens
  • Clean room and bathroom
  • Working air conditioning
  • No bugs/pests
  • Fresh/hot food
  • Easy check in/out
  • Timely service at the bar/restaurant/room service
  • Grounds free of trash
  • Clean pool
  • On time flights

Imaging Department

Cost: $250-$1125
What you get: Transvaginal Ultrasound
What you probably expect as a patient:
  • Friendly registrar and technician
  • Staff listen to concerns
  • Staff put you at ease
  • Respect of your privacy/dignity
  • Explanation of test
  • Have correct test performed
  • Clean facility and equipment
  • Comfortable bed/exam table
  • Test to be read in timely manner
  • Told when to expect test will be read
Most patients either know what their test is going to cost, or know it’s not going to be cheap. Patients have certain expectations when they come for a test at the outpatient facility, doctor office, or hospital where you work. It only takes a couple extra minutes to get a warm blanket for your 85-year-old patient who is on blood thinners and feels like your exam room is an ice box. It might take a minute to roll up a towel and place it behind the aching back of your patient who is 38 weeks pregnant and has a hard time getting comfortable. It takes a couple minutes to get some crackers and drink for your patient who worked all day without eating because they had to come in for a RUQ ultrasound at 5:00p, since they couldn’t take a day off work. It doesn’t take any extra time to greet you patient with a smile, listen to them and try to relate with them, try to comfort them and assure them you are going to take the absolute best care of them you can.

The things you can do to provide fabulous customer service and patient care, usually take little or no extra time. And your patients will be very grateful for these small gestures. Give your patients the experience they deserve to have. If you could choose between the amazing Caribbean vacation for $649, or the transvaginal ultrasound for the same price…which would you choose? I think we’d all choose the Caribbean vacation. Remember, there are a great deal of things your patients would rather be doing, than to be in a medical facility having any type of test done. The least we can do it provide them the best experience possible.

Sonographers Rock!!!