Each year the ASE Scientific Sessions marks “the changing of the guard” for the Society. The scientific sessions are where the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, councils, committees, and taskforce members are either appointed or reappointed. This year that will occur at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My term as chair of the Council on Cardiovascular Sonography has come to an end, and I will be turning the reins over to Elizabeth McIlwain MHS, RCS, RDCS, FASE and her leadership committee of Patrick Coon RCCS, RDCS, FASE and Carol Mitchell PhD, RDCS, RVT, RT(R), FASE.
Our Society is made up of just under 16,500 members–approximately 42% of whom are sonographers or other nonphysician members. The chair of the council, along with the council leadership and members of the council board, is tasked with overseeing the interests of our sonographer membership in any matters pertaining to cardiovascular ultrasound. A lot of items are brought to the council for consideration, either by email or through postings on connect@ase . Here is an update of some of the accomplishments of the council over the past 2 years.
Radiation Safety White Paper
One initiative that began as a result of comments on connect@ase is the Sonographer Radiation Safety Taskforce chaired by Elizabeth McIlwain. This taskforce was started with the charge of looking into the exposure of cardiovascular sonographers to ionizing radiation. Sonographers are often placed in situations where they are exposed to radiation due to their proximity to nuclear medicine laboratories, by scanning patients who have recently undergone nuclear medicine examinations, and also by the increasing amount of time they are spending in the cardiac catheterization lab and hybrid operating rooms in support of interventional procedures. The taskforce is in the final phases of creating a first draft of a radiation safety white paper that will outline recommended radiation safety procedures to protect our cardiovascular sonographers.
Scope of Practice Update
Another initiative that surfaced on connect@ase is the changing scope of practice for cardiovascular sonographers. We often get questions asking what is and what is not within our scope of practice. The ASE is joining forces with the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (SDMS), the Society of Vascular Ultrasound (SVU), and multiple other ultrasound related organizations to prepare a new multidisciplinary scope of practice document. The ASE is being represented on this taskforce by Carol Mitchell and Jayashri Aragam MD, FASE. The hope is that this multi-organizational and multidisciplinary taskforce will develop a powerful scope of practice document that represents all disciplines of ultrasound and forms a standard for our scope of practice.