June 2019 Sonographer Volunteer of the Month: Melissa Wasserman, RDCS, RCCS, FASE

By Natalya Read posted 06-03-2019 11:08


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

I graduated in 2004 from New York University’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.  As a student, we learned not only cardiovascular ultrasound, but also abdominal and OBGYN ultrasound.  I always found my echo clinical rotations to be the most fun and interesting, but my favorite clinical assignment was in a pediatric cardiology echocardiography lab.  After that rotation, I knew when I graduated, I wanted to dedicate myself to pediatric cardiovascular ultrasound.

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

I am the Satellite Lead Cardiac Sonographer at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  I’m responsible for echo lab operations at 9 satellite outpatient and inpatient locations. Of course, I still continue to image as well teach residents, fellows and sonography students.

When and how did you get involved with the ASE? 

My first introduction to ASE was at the 2008 Scientific Sessions in Toronto.  I remember looking at the program and being conflicted with which sessions to attend – there was so much to learn!  When I got there, I remember feeling overwhelmed. There were so many people and everyone seemed to know everyone and I had only been in the echocardiography field for 4 years.  Some of my cardiology attendings and fellows introduced me to a few other cardiologists, fellows and sonographers from other institutions and I ended up leaving that meeting not only with new echo knowledge, but new friends. 

The education and networking opportunities at that meeting inspired me to join ASE and when the email went out asking for committee volunteers, I signed up.

 Why do you volunteer for ASE? 

I volunteer for ASE because it’s a privilege to be part of an incredible organization that prioritizes the role of the sonographer.  Every council, committee and task force consists of a combination of cardiologists and sonographers.  Our opinions are valued. I also volunteer for ASE because it offers a huge range of cardiovascular ultrasound learning opportunities locally, nationally, and online.   So even for the sonographer that can’t make it to the Scientific Sessions, all members can learn, have access to the latest guidelines, improve their echo labs, and ultimately improve patient care… just by being a member of ASE.  

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? 

I received my FASE credential in 2010. I’ve been invited faculty at the ASE Learning Lab and the Scientific Sessions for many years.  I am currently a Member-at-Large on the Council on Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Steering Committee.  I also serve on the Public Relations Committee and the CPELP Committee.  I’ve served on the Membership Committee for 3 years as a Member-at-Large and Sonography Council Representative.  In September, I will be joining the ASE Foundation’s Global Health Outreach pediatric cardiology program in Kenya.  On a local level, I’ve lectured at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s pediatric echo conference as well as for the Delaware Valley Echo Society.

What is your advice for members who want to become more involved in their profession or with the ASE?  
My advice is to advocate for yourself. If you want to become more involved in the ASE, sign up when the emails for volunteer positions go out, sign up to become a mentor or mentee.  Pick something you feel you’re good at (the Membership Committee was my favorite – can you tell?) and ask how you can help.  The same goes within your own institution. Make sure it’s something you’re passionate about, because with more involvement comes more responsibility.  However, the result of improving the field of cardiovascular sonography is incredibly rewarding.

What is your vision for the future of cardiovascular sonography?

My vision for the future of cardiovascular sonography is for less division between adult and pediatric fields.  I think as age of CHD patients increases, as will the need for adult congenital sonographers.  Every new aspect of cardiovascular sonography imaging will be geared not solely for the adult population with the intent of ultimately reaching the pediatric population, but for all patients.