Over the past several years the Council on Cardiovascular Sonography has received many inquiries as to why we do not have travel grants available to sonographers to attend the ASE Scientific Sessions as do the other councils. I am happy to say that last year a decision was made by our Council to establish two travel grants available to help subsidize sonographer attendance at the ASE Scientific Sessions. The ASE Sonographer Council Travel Grant is for any sonographer member (adult, pediatric, echo, and/or vascular) to help fund his or her travel to the ASE Scientific Sessions. This is part of an ongoing effort to encourage sonographers in cardiovascular specialties to focus on the respective subspecialty and to recruit enthusiastic new members to the Sonographer Council membership. In addition, the council board hopes to provide interested sonographers with a deeper understanding of the imaging field and facilitate the development of meaningful mentoring opportunities with established imaging faculty.
To apply for one of the two $1,000 travel grants, you must be registered (CCI, ARDMS, or international equivalent) and currently working at least part time. Applicants must submit a letter to the selection committee about why they would like to attend the Scientific Sessions and what they anticipate bringing back to their labs as a result of attending. Recipients will also agree to write a JASE “Yellow Page” article about their experience with ASE and the annual Scientific Sessions. This year’s recipients were Sydni Hennemann, RDCS, and Kip Sumpter, RDCS, RCS. A summary of their experience in attending the scientific session follows.
I felt that this would be an amazing opportunity to learn from the best in the field of echocardiography and then bring the information back home to pass on to fellow colleagues. I like being a part of a mentor relationship, so I highly value those people who have helped me learn and continue to mentor me. I work at a teaching institution so there is always room to share knowledge and information to younger sonographers and sonographer students.
2. Describe the best session/event that you attended at the Scientific Sessions.
Wow, to only be able to describe one is almost impossible. A few of my favorites were on the LA size & volume, ergonomics, perfusion, Advanced Practice Sonographer, and licensure. With regard to the session on LA size, I did not realize the vast importance of getting the size and how that can correlate to mortality. With regard to ergonomics, I think as sonographers we have to stay aware of our bodies and work smart. No one is going to look out for you but you! Perfusion was an area about which I didn’t have a whole lot of information about so this was extremely informative to me. I was very surprised with how closely it correlated with nuclear medicine studies. And the Advanced Sonographer and licensure both affect us and our careers in the very near future, and it is important to stay aware of how the government is potentially affecting our careers.
3. Based on the sessions you attended and the information you learned, have you made any changes in your lab or your practice?
I cannot say that there was a big change due to the complexity of the protocol that is already in place where I work. Our medical director and chief sonographer have developed a very thorough protocol that leaves nothing to question, and when abnormalities arise from the ’normals’ the sonographer is expected to investigate that area specifically.
4. What encouragement would you give other sonographers to attend the ASE Scientific Sessions?
Attend!!! Absolutely Attend!!! This is a chance to see what other labs and sonographers are doing and to bring something state of the art back home. Many friendships start here, and one never knows when that friendship may be with someone who mentors you or vice versa.
5. How are you planning to be more active in your profession and in the ASE as a result of attending the scientific sessions?
I have realized the importance of staying active in the ASE and of volunteering. I plan to follow up on being active in the volunteer program and trying to spread the importance of getting involved in the ASE to my colleagues.
6. Any additional comments?
Being a part of the ASE Scientific Sessions was awesome! This doesn’t even take into account the people I met and the friendships that were started. I truly felt part of a family, a family with a true passion for echocardiography.
1. Why was it important for you to attend the 2011 Scientific Sessions?
The field of cardiac ultrasound is always evolving, with advancing technologies and updated standards for measurements and protocols. It is mandatory to stay informed about the constant changes our field undergoes. The ASE Scientific Sessions is a great way to get the newest information.