April 2019 Sonographer Volunteer of the Month: Alicia Armour, BS, MA, RDCS, FASE

By Natalya Read posted 04-03-2019 10:32


alicia_armour.jpgWhen and how did you get involved with cardiovascular ultrasound?

I first worked with cardiac sonographers when doing stress testing as an exercise physiologist; I considered a career change when a friend who transitioned from exercise physiology to echocardiography had highly recommended it. The idea of working with the same patient population, and still using some of my education was appealing to me. I applied for echo school and started in 2008 at Forsyth Technical Community College. 

What is the name and type of facility/institution at which you work, and what is your current position?

Duke Cardiac Diagnostic Unit, a part of Duke Health, is a teaching institution where I work as a level three cardiac sonographer. I lead quality improvement and IAC reaccreditation, assist with employee education and training, and perform advanced imaging (3D, strain, adult congenital, dyssynchrony). 

When and how did you get involved with the ASE?

My sonography program had encouraged becoming a member of the ASE so I joined as a student. When I joined the team at Duke a lot of my coworkers were active members, and my eagerness to be involved continued. David Adams had encouraged me to volunteer more, so I applied to serve on a committee and was accepted as part of the Awards Committee. Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to serve as faculty on the Scientific Sessions, obtained designation as FASE, served on multiple committees, and reviewed manuscripts for CASE.  I currently am a member of the Council on Cardiovascular Sonography, and representative for the ASE on the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC)-Echocardiography Board of Directors. 

Why do you volunteer for ASE?

As an exercise physiologist I was an active member of our society, the American College of Sports Medicine. I was excited to learn that the same opportunity and community existed in echo. I continue to volunteer, and encourage others to do so, because I believe in what the ASE does for us as society and a community. The ASE is a wealth of knowledge and opportunity.  I continue to learn and grow through every experience with our society. 

What is your current role within ASE? In the past, on what other committees, councils or task forces have you served and what have you done with the local echo society?

Currently I am the representative for the Guidelines and Standards Committee on the Council on Cardiovascular Sonography, a member of the Workflow and Lab Management Task Force, represent the ASE on the IAC-Echocardiography Board of Directors, and am a CASE manuscript reviewer. I am also a fellow of the FASE, have served on the Research and Awards Committee, and previous abstract reviewer for the Scientific Sessions, I have also been involved in 2 writing groups: the Scientific Sessions Faculty, writing group for the Guidelines for the Use of Echocardiography in the Evaluation of a Cardiac Source of Embolism, and the writing group for the Quick Reference Guide for the ASE Recommendations for Cardiac Chamber Quantifications in Adults. On a local level, I have lectured for the North Carolina Ultrasound Society meetings. 

What is your advice for members who want to become more involved in their profession or with the ASE?

My advice is get involved or connect with someone who is involved to find out how they became involved. As David Adams encouraged me, I try to encourage others to get involved. There are so many ways to volunteer through the ASE and the Foundation. Try the mentorship program! It’s a great place to start. And if it’s too intimidating to start with the ASE, start with your local society. Take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you, try new things, ask about new technology, attend educational seminars and network! 

What is your vision for the future of cardiovascular sonography?

I think as our technology continues to progress, we’ll have more artificial intelligence to help expedite our scans and hopefully improve inter-sonographer consistency. As others have mentioned I think our involvement with structural heart programs will increase as well.