Summer, 2020

Summer, 2020

Let me start by saying I hope you and your loved ones are well and weathering this tumultuous time with minimal stress and hardship. We are certainly navigating a different world now, and as healthcare workers, we are keenly aware of what it means to protect our patients, ourselves, and our families. 

As you know, we were required to cancel our Spring meeting this past April in Raleigh. So many other organizations and event-based groups have had to do the same. This has greatly impacted our society’s finances as well as how we serve our membership. So many of you rely on the NCUS to acquire your yearly CME’s, so we are tasked with finding innovative ways to serve and connect with you, our members. We have learned so much about COVID 19, but we still have so much more to learn. I hope in the coming months, we can provide a place to learn, vent, share, and work though this together. We will be reaching out via our FaceBook page and email blasts to keep us all connected and to inform you of ways we are trying to meet our mission to the membership. AT THIS TIME – we are working hard to put together a day and a half Fall Symposium on October 24th and 25th in Winston-Salem. We discussed and approved extending it to be able to offer at least 10 CME credits for this year. We do not know if we will be able to hold an “in person” meeting until we get a little closer to the date, but that is how we are moving forward for now. We are working on and investigating strategies to be flexible and nimble in changing the format of the meeting should restrictions on gatherings be locked down again this Fall.  I know some institutions are prohibiting or restricting travel and that varies across the state, but we hope to gather information as we get closer to the time of the meeting to see how we can best provide CMEs. We will always have the safety and well-being of our members at the forefront of our decision making.

Please visit our FaceBook page often as we have plans for some fun contests and information gathering surveys that I hope you will consider participating in. Things we are working on include a FUNNY PPE picture contest, a survey about how you would consider attending a future meeting (Virtual meeting, Webinar, Zoom, etc), a survey about your experiences over the past few months and the impact the coronavirus has had on the way you see patients and navigate your daily lives. That survey will be compiled and presented in the next newsletter so we can all see what each of us have been facing. 

I am very excited to let you know that we will be offering NCUS themed face masks in a variety of styles (see example of one style) and NCUS stickers to show our pride in our profession and our society. If you are a closet seamstress (like me) and have been creating face coverings or masks and would like to donate some to the society for sale, please contact me at the email address below. 

Please be on the lookout for announcements about the Fall Symposium and fun items we will make available to offset some of our significant financial loss from the Spring.

Be well and stay safe!

Diana M. Strickland, RDMS, RDCS

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North Carolina Ultrasound President

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Hello NCUS members,

I hope you all are safe and doing well. Usually this portion of the newsletter is used to talk about recent and upcoming events, as well as different happenings with NCUS and its members. This year has been unlike any we have experienced before. I am excited that we are planning a fabulous Fall Symposium this year. The Board of Directors has been and continues to put in a great deal of time and effort to make this year’s Fall Symposium especially great, as we sadly had to cancel the Spring meeting. This edition of the newsletter contains some very interesting case studies and articles, which we hope you will take the time to look at.

On a more personal note, as a Divisional Ultrasound Supervisor for Atrium Health, I’ve been working around the clock since March. In addition to my regular responsibilities, I've been on numerous Teams calls and meetings throughout the day, continually evaluating staffing and patient volume, formulating staffing back-up plans, evaluating supplies levels daily, constantly checking for Covid-19 updates on our Atrium Teammates site, desperately trying to keep up with emails and notifications about the latest policy or procedure changes, ensuring my staff is aware of each and every policy and procedure update, and so much more. I know my staff are carrying extra weight and stress as well, I can often see it in their faces and hear it in their voices. As healthcare workers we bury our stress and feelings, put on a brave face and walk out onto the floor to provide support and care to our patients as they are naturally feeling a great deal of anxiety for a number of reasons. As a leader I wear that same brave face every day and reassure my staff that we are doing everything possible to keep them safe, and to keep them working as patient volumes are up and down daily. 

 At home, I have 2 teenage sons who are preparing to start their 7th and 8th grade school years virtually. This has brought on more concerns and stress. How will this affect their social skills? Will the quality of the education they are receiving suffer? Will this affect my ability to work a normal schedule at my job? Do they have all the resources they need to be successful learning at home? And the list goes on. 

I can't begin to imagine the challenges and stressors each of you are dealing with right now. I’m sure you have been burying your stress and putting on your brave faces while providing endless support to your families, coworkers, patients, and communities. I'm sure you've made sacrifices you never thought you’d be faced with.  

I came across an article back in April called "Staying Sane During a Pandemic", by psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb. She said "Our hands are chapped from sanitizers and soap, our kids are home from school, our workplaces are shutting down, our in-person gatherings have been canceled, and our grocery-store shelves are nearly empty. In other words, our lives are affected in ways big and small, but at least we're in this seemingly surreal situation together."  The grocery store shelves aren’t empty anymore, although toilet paper can still be hard to find. Many businesses are starting to or have opened back up. However, most of us are still facing challenges brought on by Covid. But one thing has never changed throughout this pandemic, we’re all in this together. I’ve been amazed by the outpouring of support to our communities by businesses and individuals from all over. I’ve received a great deal of support from coworkers, friends, family, neighbors, even complete strangers. I know we will all continue to support each other, and we will get through this together. I truly hope you all stay well and stay safe. I am looking forward to seeing you all in October. 

Megan Wyatt RDMS (AB, OB/GYN), RVT

NCUS Newsletter Editor