I had moved to Spokane WA to live with my brother in 1996. I was fairly clueless about how to make a living. I was "temping" at Heartclinics Northwest billing office and I asked someone about these "Echo Reports" that I was pulling from the charts. They told me what it was and there was a school in town. Being that running was a hobby of mine, I thought the heart might be interesting to study. Next thing you know, I'm a student of Dennis Carney at Spokane Community College in the Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Technology program.
2. What is your current position?
I am currently a Cardiac Sonographer at the Duke University Hospital in Durham NC
3. At what type of facility do you work?
The Duke University Hospital is a 924 bed academic hospital associated with the Duke University School of Medicine. It is part of the Duke Health System.
4. When & how did you get involved in ASE?
Dennis Carney encouraged us to be student members because one of the criteria of being a professional was to be active in your professional society. I signed up in 1999. After hiring on at Duke my supervisor, Karen Strub, asked me to moderate a session at ASE 2000 in Chicago (featuring Dr. Vera Rigolin, who never remembers my name :)).
I’ve attended the five ASE Scientific Sessions. (I don’t get to go every year since we like to give others in our lab the opportunity)
Since then, I’ve have been on the Membership and Education and Oversight committees. I'm currently on the ASE Foundation Task Force and the International Sonographer Training Task Force.
I will be applying for FASE designation this month.
5. Why do you volunteer for ASE?
I believe that the ASE is a great example of what a professional society should look like. It offers many ways for its members to participate in continuing education. It promotes and supports research in our field. It is active on the member’s behalf with legislation that affects our jobs and reimbursement. It also sponsors and supports global cardiovascular efforts. Working with the ASE is also a great way to network within our field. I have met so many people in the U.S. and globally that want to provide good cardiovascular ultrasound exams for their patients. We get to share ideas and sometime work together making recommendations for the membership, all the while, getting to make some new friends.
The global effort is important to me since I am involved in teaching echocardiography in Eldoret, Kenya. The lab at Moi University Teaching and Referral Hospital is example of a lab without the level of support that we in the US are used too. The ASE has donated posters and umbrellas to our effort. (They have a rainy season and it gets wet.) These are small ways the ASE can let a lab know we care about them learning good echocardiography.
In turn, I was sure to take some pictures, with the ASE displayed, to bring some awareness back on the North American continent that others are appreciative of ASE's support.
6. What's your advice to a sonographer who wants to be more involved in their profession/ASE?
First, become a member. This shows people who might look at our society that we have a robust membership from the field.
Second, utilize the products and services the ASE provides. ASE spends a substantial part of it's budget to help the membership become better echocardiographers.
Third, ask another ASE member and/or call the ASE office and ask how might you be able to get involved. The website homepage currently has a call for members to participate on councils and committees.
ASE has a lot of areas in which they might use your help.
7. What is your vision for cardiovascular sonographers in the future?
I see where the cardiovascular sonographer might have more of a role in medical schools by teaching medical students how to acquire and understand a few basic views with a hand held device. Another contribution we could make is to be part of the rounding team with a hand-held device.
I would like to see a more formal pathway where the cardiovascular sonographer can become a leader in the cardiovascular laboratory to help more inexperienced staff create better studies for our physicians. As well as being a mid-level to communicate with the physicians about the more acute and/or serious findings.