by Joan Andrews
South Hills Public Relations Specialist
STATE COLLEGE — The 5th annual Sonographers’ Symposium was hosted by South Hills School of Business & Technology, with over 100 participants at the conference held at the school’s State College campus.
Training for a career in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) profession has been offered at South Hills School since 1995, with hundreds of successful DMS graduates now using their specialized associate degrees in a variety of medical settings and laboratories across the country.
Five years ago, the sonography department decided to broaden their outreach by providing continual medical education (CME) training to their graduates and other sonography professionals throughout the country. As the participants increased their knowledge in the ever-expanding field of medical imaging, they were also given the opportunity to network with leaders in the field, fellow sonographers, and ultrasound equipment manufacturers.
Sonography is a multi-specialty profession that uses ultrasound as its primary technology to evaluate and record images of various parts of the body. Many sonographers assist physicians and surgeons during minimally invasive procedures such as biopsies, injections and surgical procedures.
Diverse topics were presented in seminars throughout the day by leaders in the field of sonography from Penn State Hershey Medical Center, The Society for Vascular Ultrasound, Thomas Jefferson University, URMC Cardiology-Highland Hospital in Rochester, NY and Mount Nittany Physicians Group in State College.
Key topics discussed at this year’s symposium included methods in which ultrasound is being used to pre-screen athletes as a means to prevent sudden cardiac death, the importance of using vascular ultrasound to monitor dialysis patients, and the use of ultrasound to evaluate musculoskeletal abnormalities.
Guest speaker, Dr. Robert Atnip, Professor of Surgery and Radiology – Division of Vascular Surgery at Penn State Medical Center in Hershey, commented that there is always great interest and value in South Hills’ annual Sonographers’ Symposium. It provides the opportunity for attendees to network, exchange views and learn from one another, as well as observe the latest advancements in technology.
State-of-the-art technologies were on display from GE Healthcare, Phillips, Lantheus and Siemens. During the Technical Showcase, ultrasound equipment representatives gave hands-on demonstrations of their latest technologies, including 3-D and 4-D cardiac imaging and multimodality fusion technology
Symposium attendees were also invited to participate in a community service project that was in motion at South Hills. Each year the current DMS students volunteer their time and effort to bring awareness and support to a chosen charity. This year the students collected money and socks for Kelsey’s Dream, a charity that benefits children with cancer. With the help of symposium attendees and fellow students, they raised over $300 and collected 750 pairs of brightly colored socks to be given to children in several hospitals.
Tricia Turner, Director of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at South Hills School stated, “We are so fortunate to receive support from all involved, including manufacturers, the school and sonographers for our annual symposium. It is a great opportunity,” she continued, “to get together as professionals to discuss what so many of us are passionate about – caring for our patients.”