In 2011, with support from the ASE Foundation, the Council on Cardiac and Vascular Sonography introduced the sonographer travel grant as a way to encourage cardiovascular sonographers to continue their development in the field, participate in the ASE, and identify/mentor new members to the Council. Each year the council awards two $1,000 travel grants to assist sonographer members with funds to attend the Annual Scientific Sessions. Applicants must be registered sonographers (RCS, RDCS, RVS, RVT, or the international equivalent) and be employed at least part-time. The process requires applicants to submit letters to the selection committee detailing why they would like to attend the Scientific Sessions and what they anticipate bringing back to their labs as a result. Recipients also agree to provide feedback on their experience with ASE and the Scientific Sessions for a JASE “Blue Page” article. Information and deadlines for applying for the travel grants will be posted later this fall on the Council’s page of the ASE Web site and will be announced in the sonographer community of email@example.com , or you can contact Cathy Kerr at firstname.lastname@example.org after November 1.
This year, the Council awarded travel grants to Hollie Carron, RDCS, FASE and Yan Wang, RDCS. Hollie has been in the field since 1981. She is registered in adult, pediatric, and fetal echocardiography. She has been adjunct faculty in the pediatric echo program at El Centro College in Dallas, Texas and is currently a senior pediatric cardiac sonographer at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. Yan is a cardiac sonographer at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has been in the field since 2000, and along with clinical scanning, has extensive experience in research related to echocardiography.
A summary of their experience at the 2013 Scientific Sessions in Minneapolis is below. I hope this will encourage you to attend the Scientific Sessions in the future and to become more involved in the Society.
Why was it important for you to attend the 2013 Scientific Sessions?
Hollie: Attending was very important to me professionally, as it allowed me to increase my professional knowledge, to network with other sonographers and physicians in a subspecialty field, and most importantly, it motivated me to continue to strive for excellence in my practice.
Yan: We submitted an abstract which was accepted for oral presentation. Attending the 2013 Scientific Sessions allowed me to present our research project and share it with others.
Describe the best session/event that you attended.
Hollie: The sessions that I found most helpful were the sonographer sessions about the state of our profession, the creation of the Advanced Cardiovascular Sonographer, and examples of quality improvement initiatives.
Yan: The best session that I attended was “2013 Arthur E. Weyman Young Investigator’s Award Competition/14 th Annual Feigenbaum Lecture.” The lecture by Dr. Partho Sengupta was the first-ever to use holograms. I was very impressed with the new technology!
Based on the sessions you attended and the information you learned, have you made any changes in your lab or your practice?
Hollie: A poster session and several lectures presented different examples of quality assurance (QA) that I had never considered. I plan to implement some changes in our QA program as a direct result of that information.
Yan: We plan to use more of the newer technologies to help the physicians/surgeons better understand the pathologies for the interpretations and surgeries.
What encouragement would you give other sonographers to attend the ASE Scientific Sessions?
Hollie: I would highly encourage other sonographers to attend, as the ASE Scientific Sessions facilitate a strong connection with colleagues who share a sense of passion for their profession. This passion has been instrumental in keeping my focus on patient care first, while allowing me to keep my day-to-day challenges in perspective.
Yan: The Scientific Sessions are important to sonographers, as they allow them to expand their horizons beyond routine practice; to obtain continuing education credit; and to see new technology from other institutions and from industry.
How are you planning to be more active in your profession and in the ASE as a result of attending the conference?
Hollie: I am on the ACCME Committee and plan to continue to volunteer when the term expires. It was obvious from attending the meeting that it takes more than a few very dedicated professionals to fulfill the needs of such a large and dynamic society. Seeing the work that so many professionals have voluntarily put into this organization inspires me to want to contribute in whatever capacity I can. We are very lucky to have a professional society that invites a physician and sonographer partnership to help create and implement the best medical practice benchmarks in echocardiography.
Yan: I would like to try to get involved with more research projects and to apply all the new ideas that were shared to clinical practice.