Forrest General Hospital to Serve as Clinical Site for PRCC’s New Ultrasound Program
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (September 21, 2022) With the help of Forrest General Hospital’s Radiology department, students in Pearl River Community College’s first diagnostic medical sonography program will gain valuable experience. The DMS program, which began with the fall semester in August, is a 12-month program. Upon completion, students will receive an Associate of Applied Science degree as well as qualify to sit for the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) test.
“PRCC started this program after we reached out to area schools to let them know we needed techs in order to meet the needs of our patients,” said Shannon Vega, director of Forrest General’s Radiology department. “We reached out to PRCC’s Radiology Program Director, Hope Husband, M. Ed. R.T. (R), (ARRT), and let her know we were in need, struggling with our staffing as were other area medical facilities because there weren’t enough schools offering classes such as these, and they answered. This is the result of a lot of networking by employees in our Radiology Department, the hospital’s administration, and PRCC.”
Currently, seven students are enrolled in the classes which are held at the Forrest County campus. Students will participate in hands-on education at multiple clinical sites, including Forrest General Hospital, two days a week to gain competencies on different sonography machines under direct supervision of staff technologists, according to Micki Jo Robertson, B.S., RT(R) RDMS, who serves as director of the PRCC program. Clinicals will begin September 22.
Diagnostic Medical Sonography uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of organs, masses, fluid collections, and vascular structures within the human body. Sonography is user dependent, requiring competent and highly-skilled professionals to be a part of the integral health care system. Sonographers have extensive, direct patient contact, providing care to a variety of people from healthy to critically ill. The sonographer is responsible for obtaining pertinent patient history, performing the sonographic examination, providing for the needs and comfort of the patient during examination, and recording anatomy and pathology or other data for interpretation by the supervising physician to aid in diagnosis.
Sonography is commonly used in the field of obstetrics and gynecology for purposes ranging from confirming and/or dating pregnancies to diagnosing diseases of the female reproductive system. Sonographers must have knowledge of normal structure and functional anatomy of the human body and use independent judgment in recognizing the need to perform procedures according to sonographic findings.
“FGH is excited to partner with PRCC's Ultrasound School,” said Vega. “We have worked closely with Robertson and clinical coordinator/instructor, Kendall Conerly, B.S. RDMS, RVT, to support their program and hope students will gain valuable information in this field after spending time with our employees during clinicals.”
Forrest General’s clinical instructor in Radiology Services, Courtney Powell, will oversee students as they train. “This is exciting since you are the first class,” Powell told the students who visited the hospital earlier this week. “This means you’ll always be a part of history. With that in mind, be patient, everyone you will be encountering, this is their first time, too. You will all be learning together. Stay patient and teachable, and I know you will all be successful.”
About Forrest General:
Forrest General Hospital is the flagship hospital of Forrest Health and is a 547-bed facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi that provides regional health services to a 19-county service area. For more information about services at Forrest General Hospital, visit forrestgeneral.com