A year of many milestones for CNC’s sonography program

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program at the College of New Caledonia had a successful year in 2016. (CNC). EQual Canada certified the program, which was accredited in the fall of 2021, with its certification coming soon after. As a result of this change, CNC graduates will have an easier time passing their certification as medical sonographers.

To develop a new programme, Wendy Male, CNC Associate Dean Diagnostics and Allied Health, described the “huge” effort involved in doing so. I couldn’t have done this without so many elements coming together. Faculty, staff, and students have worked tirelessly to make this year’s achievements possible. Diagnostic Medical Sonography graduates are making a difference in their communities, and we are proud of them.

There are only three sonography programmes in British Columbia, and CNC’s is the only one in the province’s northern half.

As a result of the programme, many graduates have been able to find work and stay in northern British Columbia.

Throughout her life, Marissa Cordeiro had no doubt that she wanted to pursue a career in medicine. When she was a kid in Kitimat, she had the opportunity to shadow an ultrasound technician for a few days.

Because there was no such programme in the north at the time, she relocated to Prince George to complete her undergraduate studies in biomedicine. She was pleased when CNC’s new programme was made available to her. She applied for the autumn 2020 cohort and was approved.

“It’s been one of the most incredible experiences of my life,” she remarked. There was no doubt in my mind when I began the sonography programme that I was exactly where I needed to be.

That’s why, like many of her fellow fall 2020 students, Hannah Hirvasoja opted to pursue a medical career. Sonography appealed to her because of the employment security it offered. According to the 2021 Labour Market Outlook, there will be 400 job openings for medical sonographers in the north over the next decade.

Hirvasoja is eager to begin her profession as a medical sonographer as she nears completion of her degree programme this fall.

As she put it, “we have an important role to play in someone’s healthcare journey.” To ensure that they receive the correct diagnosis and can proceed with treatment, “it’s not usually a long one.”

Sheldon Bailey, the programme coordinator for the CNC Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program, said it was humbling to watch the programme grow from its inception to its first intake, to students performing above the national average on the board exam, to graduates who are now making a difference in the community.

“It has been incredibly satisfying to be able to engage in this area of CNC’s work in the community,” he remarked. “The program’s teachers and staff stay dedicated while appreciating the progress we’ve made and enjoying our triumphs to date. Sonographers are the future of our medical community, and we will continue to invest in their education and training.”