Celebrating 5 Years of Partnership with Peoria MET Academy

This month, WCUI is celebrating 5 years of a wonderful partnership with Peoria MET Academy! Five years ago, Peoria MET brought their first class of medical students to WCUI’s original WCUI Phoenix campus to take a tour of our medical imaging labs. Since then, WCUI has hosted field trips for Peoria MET’s medical students to visit our campus. During the visits, students tour our labs and get a first-hand experience of what it takes to become a sonographer, MRI technologist, and nurse.

Our Partnership 

Throughout the years, WCUI has donated ultrasound machines to Peoria MET. The ultrasound machines allow their class of over 50 medical students a chance to learn the basics of ultrasound while completing their high school education. By receiving this hands-on experience, Peoria students are able to discover all aspects of the medical field including the exciting field of medical imaging!

During our five-year partnership, WCUI has provided student volunteers to help train Peoria’s students and sometimes their other faculty members on the donated ultrasound machines, sharing the amazing feat of seeing with sound.

In February 2021, WCUI donated four ultrasound machines to Peoria MET

New Donations & A Tour of the New Campus

In February 2021, we had the opportunity to donate four more ultrasound machines to continue to support Peoria MET programs. After a year of canceled field trips, Peoria MET’s Medical Strand Instructor, Kathy Kasney, and two MET students took a tour of the brand new Phoenix campus.

During their visit, Kathy and her students presented the WCUI Phoenix campus with a signed poster and student-made, machine etched tokens of appreciation featuring their logo and ours. A wonderful heartfelt gesture that symbolizes our collaboration with them over the years.

Kathy and her students were able to learn more about our new Practical Nursing program and meet with our Director of Practical Nursing Catherine Jagos. Catherine invited Kathy and her students to practice a few nursing skills in our brand new nursing simulation lab!

We are thrilled to continue this partnership with Peoria MET. Together we help their students gain knowledge and skills to pursue their goals of becoming our future healthcare professionals.

About Peoria MET

Peoria MET is a local Arizona Profesional Academy whose programs allow students to realize their strengths and passions by exploring potential science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) professions. The MET Professional Academy is designed to motivate students by treating them as working professionals. The programs prepare them for post-secondary education and careers in high-demand STEM fields. You can learn more about Peoria MET by visiting their website (www.peoriaunified.org/MET) and following them on Facebook (@PeoriaMET)and Instagram (@peoriaunifiedmet).

International Women’s Day is a global day that celebrates the achievements of women and raises awareness for gender equality. Today and every day, WCUI is celebrating the hundreds of WCUI faculty, staff, students, and alumni that identify as women who have made such a significant impact on our education and healthcare system during the pandemic.

Female Co-Founded

WCUI School of Medical Imaging and Nursing was co-founded over 20 years ago by Myra Chason, BS, BSN, RDMS, a well-known diagnostic medical sonography instructor, and Dr. Neville Smith, M.D., a board-certified radiologist. Myra Chason and Dr. Neville Smith shared one passion and goal, to develop a college that provided the highest quality sonography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nursing education to our communities. In the beginnings of WCUI, Myra took on teaching lecture and lab courses, helping enroll new students, developing curriculum, all while running a new college in Beverly Hills, California.

Today, she leads three WCUI campuses, now in Los Angeles, California, Ontario, California, and Phoenix Arizona. Program offerings have grown, with eight Bachelors, Associates, and diploma programs, with more on the way. In addition, the curriculum continues to adapt to changes in the industry to support our student’s career goals.

Women at WCUI

Every year WCUI is expanding, with additions of new Directors, educators, and staff to support our growth. As of March 2021, 61% of our faculty and staff members at all three WCUI campuses identify as female. Our female-identifying team members are in a range of roles at the corporate and campus level. Including, Campus Directors, Director of Education, Program Directors, Corporate Leaders, Department Directors, Instructors, and more.

According to our September 2020 student population report, 81% of students attending all three WCUI campuses at that time identified as female. Of that 81 percent, 73% identified as a Person of Color (POC). Our female-identifying students were enrolled in full-range of programs including:

Women in Sonographer, MRI, and Nursing Roles

According to the 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020:

  • 84% of employed Diagnostic Medical Sonographers were women, 
  • 71.9% of Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians were women,
  • 58.8% of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists were women,
  • and 90% of Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LPN & LVN) were women. 

Women are dominating the healthcare field. They are the ones on the frontlines protecting our families and friends while risking their own health.

We Support You

WCUI is celebrating these women. They are our WCUI Family and they have made a significant impact on WCUI’s education and our healthcare system. We stand with them and support them as we work towards a society of gender equality and recognize their strength. We will continue to work hard to produce a welcome and equal environment for them, to lift them up towards their goals, and break those glass ceilings.

We also want to recognize all the amazing women in the healthcare field for the supportive care they’ve provided our communities through the pandemic. Women are on the frontlines making a significant impact on the health and minds of our communities. From sonographers to nurses to MRI technologists, to educators, to leaders, and everything in between. We applaud and support the women in our community for their talents, diversity, leadership, and dedication to education and healthcare.

We invite everyone to celebrate these women. Support their career and passion, stand up for them to forge a gender-equal world.

 

One of the primary goals for WCUI is to promote the use and benefits of ultrasound technology across multiple professions outside of the sonography field. In doing so, our WCUI CME Division has been tasked with building inroads for point-of-care ultrasound education with non-sonographer communities. In October of 2020, WCUI partnered with Rock Run Physical Therapy in Utah to enhance patient care through a Musculoskeletal Ultrasound POCUS Training Course.

Musculoskeletal ultrasound is a powerful tool that physical therapists can utilize in their practice to enhance patient care by immediately determining if a patient is or is not a candidate for physical therapy, immediately determining the severity of a patient’s injury, visualizing joints post-treatment sessions, and determining the need for other imaging.

The training with Rock Run focused on upper and lower extremities in musculoskeletal ultrasound and was led by instructor Jeannine Noble PT, RMSK. During the training, Jeannine and the Rock Run Team utilized mediums such as Canvas for didactic material, a hybrid approach consisting of a virtual lab through the use of Butterfly teleguidance, and a hands-on lab training at the Rock Run facility in Roy, Utah.

The training concluded in January of 2021 with rave reviews of the owner of Rock Run, Brandon Hepner. After the course, attendees became comfortable with musculoskeletal ultrasound of the most commonly scanned anatomy, the ability to identify normal and pathological joints on ultrasound, and earned their POCUS Fundamentals Certification and POCUS MSK Certification. We enjoyed our partnership with Brandon and his team and look forward to seeing them continue to utilize these skills in their practice.

As we continue into 2021, WCUI’s CME Division will continue to partner with additional physical therapy groups, nationally in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Maryland. As a Certified POCUS Training Provider, the WCUI CME division will work to spread the knowledge of ultrasound and its ability to enhance patient care.

WCUI’s CME Division wrapped up an active 2020 year with a virtual webinar on Fetal Echocardiography: Beyond the 4-Chamber View. During the 2-hour webinar, speakers Jason Grabham RDCS, FASE, Externship Director at WCUI Phoenix, and Dr. Ericka Sheller-McLaughlin of Phoenix Children’s Hospital teamed up to educate attendees on the importance of increasing prenatal detection rates of congenital heart disease and provided a comprehensive overview of the complete fetal echocardiographic evaluation, including normal and abnormal anatomic features and physiology.

This SDMS approved event provided learners with 2.0 units as the year came to a close and rounded out our 2020 CME Library where participants of the webinar and those who completed the library earned 8.5 CME credits.

WHO ATTENDED

The Fetal Echocardiography Live Webinar had a total of 59 attendees and 63 Zoom registrations. Out of that total, 18 were WCUI Alumni and 3 were WCUI Community Partners/Affiliates.

WEBINAR FEEDBACK

After the webinar, we re-connected with attendees to get their feedback on the content, speakers, and how learnings from the activity can directly impact patients in the workplace.

Thoughts on Lead Instructors:

  • “Fantastic, Very Informative. Thank you!, Material was explained very well.”

  • “Great visuals, clear explanation combined with warmth & professionalism.”​

  • “Excellent job of presenting the material and explaining the various defects in an easy-to-understand way… great pace and easily kept my attention start to finish.” ​

  • “Very detailed and comprehensive, excellent course.”

Personal Improvements Attendees Gained from the Course:

  • “Learning about the outflows. Improved my knowledge of understanding why those images are taken as a technician. Will definitely be useful in my field as I work.”​

  • “Evaluate the fetal heart with further understanding of views beyond the 4-chamber, share this information with 4 other Sonographer’s in my office, and increase our detection rate of cardiac defects using extra knowledge shared by this webinar.”​

  • “Purpose of determining fetal cardiac position & importance of high probability of heart defects.”

The WCUI Continuing Medical Education Division had tremendous growth this year through the adaptation of webinars during a tough year. The WCUI CME team looks forward to hosting more webinars, in-person and hybrid courses, and more in 2021 starting off with the first annual 2021 CME Week February 1-5. Interested in joining? Purchase your ticket HERE

October marks Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month #MUAM which is held annually to spread awareness of the important role sonographers play in the medical community. The goal is to educate the public about medical ultrasound and its many uses throughout a patient’s life. Many people in our community do not realize that ultrasound is utilized in all parts of your life to assess patients from head to toe.

Sonographers are the doctor’s eyes. The images they produce can help detect and diagnose life-threatening diseases. Sonographers are there for their patients during the highs and lows of their healthcare journey. From OB to echo, abdominal to musculoskeletal, and beyond, sonographers have impacted someone’s life and health.

Ultrasound and the Heart

Ultrasound can be used as a diagnostic or screening tool to confirm medical disorders such as issues in the heart. Echocardiography (heart ultrasound), also known as ECHO, is a common way to evaluate the overall function of the heart. It is used to evaluate the flow of blood through the chambers and valves of the heart. It also assesses the strength of the heartbeat and the volume of blood pumped through. Doppler ultrasound echocardiography is often used for the following:

  • Heart valve problems, such as mitral valve prolapse or aortic stenosis
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Blood clots due to irregular heartbeats such as in atrial fibrillation
  • Abnormal fluid collections around the heart, such as pericardial effusions
  • Pulmonary artery hypertension

Ultrasound is also useful in testing and detecting problems with most of the larger bloodvessels in the body. Using Doppler Ultrasound Technology, the flow of blood through the vessels can be observed and measured. The narrowing of vessels (stenosis) or widening of vessels (dilatation/aneurysms) can be detected. Ultrasound testing of blood vessels includes:

  • Carotid Ultrasound
  • Abdominal Aorta Ultrasound for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • Blood clots in veins

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

A Musculoskeletal (MSK) Ultrasound is a specialized exam that looks specifically at your muscles and joints. MSK ultrasound technologists have special training in looking at muscles, some ligaments, nerves, and tendons. MSK ultrasound is particularly helpful in the diagnosis of orthopedic and sports injuries, such as rotator cuff tears, and chronic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Sometimes, pain or injury is triggered by movement, which cannot be captured in a static image. Ultrasound is performed in real time and can provide unique information that cannot be detected by any other imaging method. MSK ultrasound is used to diagnose a wide range of injuries and chronic conditions, including:

  • muscle tears
  • tendonitis
  • bursitis
  • joint problems
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • and masses such as tumors or cysts. 

Vascular Ultrasound

Sonographers can also specialize in vascular ultrasound, which evaluates the body’s circulatory system. Oftentimes, sonographers will utilize Doppler Ultrasound Technology. Doppler ultrasound will be used to observe and measure the flow of blood through the vessels. Vascular ultrasound is often performed to:

  • help monitor the blood flow to organs and tissues throughout the body.
  • locate and identify blockages and abnormalities
  • detect blood clots (deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in the major veins of the legs or arms.
  • evaluate the success of procedures that graft or bypass blood vessels.
  • determine if there is an enlarged artery or aneurysm.
  • evaluate varicose veins.

In children, vascular ultrasound is used to:

  • aid in the placement of a needle or catheter into a vein or artery to help avoid complications such as bleeding, nerve injury, or pseudo-aneurysm.
  • and evaluate a connection between an artery and a vein which can be seen in congenital vascular malformations and in dialysis fistula.

Abdominal Ultrasound

Abdominal ultrasound is used to view structures inside the abdomen, such as:

  • Blood vessels in the abdomen
  • Gallbladder
  • Intestines
  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Spleen

An abdominal ultrasound can help your doctor evaluate the cause of stomach pain or bloating. It can help check for kidney stones, liver disease, tumors, and many other conditions.

Obstetrics/Gynecologic and Pelvic Ultrasound

Obstetrics and gynecologic ultrasound, while known by many to evaluate a pregnancy, can also assess and produce images of the bladder, uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, and ovaries. Ultrasound images can be used in gynecologic care to diagnose and help treat many diseases and conditions in the pelvic region.

Ultrasound probes come in many different shapes and sizes. In this part of the field, some transducers are used on the skin of a woman’s abdomen, while others are placed inside the vagina by utilizing a transvaginal ultrasound. Transvaginal ultrasound allows the sonographer to get the transducer close to the cervix, uterus, and ovaries which will produce more detailed images to be created.

Ultrasound can also be used to evaluate the:

  • uterus
  • bladder
  • prostate
  • cysts
  • kidney or bladder stones
  • tumors
  • fibroids
  • pelvic pain

We are just touching the surface with the use cases of ultrasound and every day there is advancement in the medical field to utilize safer medical imaging alternatives like ultrasound. The number of sonographers needed to support these advancements and support patients will continue to grow. If you’ve considered a career in sonography, now is the time to pursue it! There is a place in the field for everyone, from sports medicine, children, heart specialists, abdomen, OB/GYN, and more.

TAKE A CME COURSE ON YOUR OWN SCHEDULE, REGISTER TODAY! 

Last month, WCUI hosted a LIVE CME webinar with guest speakers, Amy Zazerra OB, FE, RVT, and Jason Grabham RDCS, FASE over the topic “Anatomical Survey – A Case Study Analysis of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome”. If you missed the opportunity to log in, WCUI is now providing access to the free CME course worth 2.5 CME credits through SDMS! Once you gain access, you will be able to complete the course on your own time.

To gain access, please fill out the CME Course Enrollment Form and you’ll receive an invitation from the WCUI CME team: WCUI CME Course Enrollment Form 

The course is a great opportunity for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and OB/GYNs who are interested in reviewing the importance of the fetal heart views and gain additional knowledge through a case study on hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). 

  CME COURSE DETAILS: 

  • When: Anytime! Enroll today & take the course on your own time: WCUI CME Course Enrollment Form 
  • Topic: Anatomical Survey – A Case Study Analysis of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome 
  • CME Credits: 2.5 SDMS credits

GAIN SDMS CME CREDIT & REGISTER FOR THE WCUI WEBINAR TODAY!

WCUI is hosting another LIVE webinar and CME opportunity on Friday, May 15th, 2020 at 12:00 pm AZT. This webinar is designed to develop the technical and cognitive skills required to perform venous insufficiency ultrasound evaluations and/or for assisting patients with treatment/disease management. This CME course is approved by SDMS for 1.50 SDMS credits and Registration is FREE!

The webinar is a great opportunity for Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Cardiovascular Sonography Alumni, and DMS, Cardiovascular and Vascular Sonographers who are interested in expanding their vascular sonography knowledge.

See the details below to register for the webinar in advance! 

ABOUT THE WEBINAR SPEAKER

Laurie Bentson Headshot

Laurie Bentson, MHA, RVT, RDMS is a sonographer registered in vascular and abdominal ultrasound. She attended the Oregon Institute of Technology and developed her vascular scanning skills while serving patients for 20 years at Banner University Medical Center-Phoenix campus. During her tenure, she managed the ultrasound team performing high-risk OB; supporting organ transplant services, vascular and cardiac surgeons, NICU, a stroke center, and a robust interventional radiology team to include ultrasound guidance procedures. Laurie furthered her education by obtaining her Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration and was promoted to Senior Manager, serving two additional major medical centers within Banner Health.

Throughout her career, Laurie has had the opportunity to develop students and seasoned technologists by sharing her experiences and enthusiasm for diagnostic imaging and most important, patient care. She continued working as an adjunct lab instructor, serving on multiple steering committees and the advisory board for the ultrasound program at Gateway Community College for much of her career. Laurie contributed to the development of structured reporting of vascular ultrasound findings to improve the quality of the documentation and standardize ultrasound imaging.  She has also successfully managed accreditation and reaccreditation processes for all imaging departments to include Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA), American College of Radiology (ACR), and Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC).

Most recently, Laurie made the career choice to immerse herself in ultrasound once again through WCUI, where she serves as Clinical Lab Director – restructuring lab environments to mirror clinical spaces and maximize learning opportunities.

WEBINAR DETAILS:

To sign up, register for the webinar in advance! After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

When: May 15, 2020 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Arizona Time

Topic: Venous Insufficiency

CME Credits: 1.50 SDMS credits

Registration Link: https://wcui.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4Y7cTlczRfSYY_2v6hIkwA

WCUI School of Medical Imaging and Nursing is thrilled to announce the promotion of Laurie Bentson, MHA, RDMS, RVT, to the newly created position of Clinical Lab Director for the Phoenix, Arizona campus. Many WCUI Phoenix sonography students will recognize Laurie as an instructor for a variety of ultrasound classes, such as Physics, Vascular, Abdomen, OB/GYN, and Medical Terminology.

“Since joining our team this past fall, Laurie has demonstrated a continuous and relentless interest in improving the student experience, by enriching their opportunities to hone their critical thinking skills in the labs and providing an outstanding education to the students,” WCUI Phoenix campus, Director of Education Maria Walters said.  “We feel very lucky to have her accept this position and look forward to collaborating in shaping the new future of WCUI education.”

Laurie Bentson’s, MHA, RDMS, RVT Experience

Laurie Bentson

Laurie grew her ultrasound experience while serving patients for 20 years at Banner University Medical Center-Phoenix campus. During her tenure, she managed the ultrasound team performing high-risk OB; supporting organ transplant services, vascular and cardiac surgeons, NICU, a stroke center, and a robust interventional radiology team to include ultrasound-guided procedures. Laurie furthered her education by obtaining her Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration and was promoted to Senior Manager, serving two additional major medical centers within Banner Health. In this role, she was responsible for staff development, quality outcomes, and operations for several different modalities to include Interventional Radiology, CT, MRI, Nuclear Medicine, Breast Imaging as well as Ultrasound.  

Laurie Bentson has extensive experience in the educational field as a vascular sonography lab instructor for Gateway Community College.  There she also taught weekend seminars to prepare the students to take their RVT registry.

Congratulations Laurie!

As WCUI Phoenix’s newest Clinical Lab Director Laurie is eager to improve WCUI student’s learning experiences by continuing to restructure lab environments to mirror clinical spaces and maximize learning opportunities. Congratulations Laurie Bentson! We are excited to see how you will continue to improve WCUI and make your impact on each of our students.

For details about Laurie Bentsons’s experience and her new promotions as WCUI Phoenix Clinical Lab Director see the official WCUI press release here: Press Release Laurie Bentson Promoted to Phoenix Clinical Lab Director

GAIN CME* CREDIT & REGISTER FOR THE WCUI MRI WEBINAR TODAY!

WCUI is hosting a LIVE webinar and CME opportunity on Thursday, April 16th, 2020 at 4:00 pm AZT. SDMS (Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography) has approved the webinar for CME credit! The webinar will cover brain cross-sectional anatomy, including, explaining the sectional anatomy landmark approach, describing major divisions of the brain, and more!  The registration fee is waived for current WCUI students, alumni and affiliate partners.

This webinar is a great opportunity for MRI Alumni in need of registry review and Diagnostic Medical Sonography Alumni who are interested in pursuing the pediatric registry exam.

ABOUT THE WEBINAR SPEAKER

headshot of John P. Lampignano

John P. Lampignano is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiologic Sciences at Boise State University. For 35 years, John taught in the Medical Imaging program at Gateway Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. John performed radiography for the Arizona State University Sports Medicine department for 10 years and was the lead technologist for the Arizona Cardinal Football team for 25 years. John Lampignano is also the co-author of “Radiographic Positioning and Related Anatomy“, which is going into its 10th edition this year.

John earned his Academic Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology from Gateway Community College, his Bachelor of Science in Education from Weber State University, and his Masters in Education in Educational Technology from Arizona State University.  He was awarded his ARRT credentials in Radiography and Computed Tomography.

WEBINAR DETAILS:

To sign up, register for the webinar in advance! After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

When: Apr 16, 2020 04:00 PM Arizona

Topic: Brain Cross-Sectional Anatomy

Register in advance for this webinar:

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_chAlXc0rSE-kEksSweDl5w

 

In November 2019, the WCUI School of Medical Imaging and Nursing welcomed Jason Grabham, RDCS (PE, FE, AE), FASE as the Director of Externship at our Phoenix campus. Jason comes to WCUI with nearly 30 years of experience in the cardiovascular sonography field and a glowing list of accomplishments including, serving as Technical Director of the Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric & Congenital Heart Program, Clinical Reviewer for the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission, Manager of Integrated Non-Invasive Cardiology at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and well-known public speaker at formal lectures and national conference presentations.

“With his years of experience working with and knowledge of the medical imaging providers in Arizona, Jason will be able to connect WCUI students to facilities that best fit each student’s background and area of interest, while providing the highest level of service to the hospitals who affiliate with WCUI.” – Chief Operating Officer, Andrew High

Meet Jason Grabham, RDCS (PE, FE, AE), FASE

Jason Grabham has nearly 30 years of expertise in the field of cardiac sonography including experience as a clinical reviewer for the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission, national publications, formal lectures, and national conference presentations. He has spent the last year working on joining the Joint Pediatric Heart Care Program with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Kentucky Children’s Hospital, managing outreach operations, and serving as Technical Director of their Pediatric & Congenital Heart Program.   

WCUI is a proud partner of Jason’s former employer, Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Phoenix. According to Pediatric Cardiologist Ericka McLaughlin, DO, “Jason is a highly motivated, mission-driven individual who exhibits exceptional leadership skills such as integrity, commitment, passion, and decisiveness. He is a confident, enthusiastic leader with excellent communication and analytical skills. Jason has the ability to break down complex problems and barriers while effectively engaging others in order to facilitate innovative ideas and solutions.”

The Future of the WCUI Externship Department

As the WCUI Phoenix Externship Director, Jason will ensure students are assigned to six months of clinical work in the medical imaging field, after completing their required classroom and laboratory hours. Externship is an essential requirement of the medical imaging programs at WCUI, to provide students real-life experience in hospitals or clinics and test their knowledge and skills before graduation. Completion of externship hours along with classroom and lab hours in our bachelor’s and associates degree programs will provide our students eligibility for their registry exams after graduation.

For details about Jason Grabham’s experience and his new role as WCUI Phoenix Director of Externship see the official WCUI press release here: Press Release Jason Grabham Externship Director

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