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School of Health and Human Services

Current Students - SONO Program Handbook

Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SONO) Program Handbook

Last updated: May 29, 2020

The School of Health and Human Services is a place of warmth and caring. We are always looking to connect with future and current students so please don't hesitate to email hhsinfo@camosun.ca if you have any questions.

Camosun College campuses are located on the Traditional Territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. We acknowledge their welcome and graciousness to the students who seek knowledge here.


Once enrolled in a program, you're required to familiarize yourself with the information found in your school and program information pages.

Policies and expectations unique to our program are outlined in the following pages. Please ensure that you read the HHS Student Handbook for general school information.

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1. Welcome

1.1 Chair's Message

Your instructors, support staff, and I want welcome you to the Department of Allied Health & Technologies. We are so excited that you have chosen to embark on your educational journey with us at Camosun College.
By choosing a program in Allied Health, you have demonstrated that you have a desire to work with people
and technology while you serve the needs of your community.

Allied Health is a term that encompasses the vast number of healthcare professionals working outside the practice of nursing or medicine. We are a growing force in healthcare workplaces, gaining recognition for our specialized expertise, change resilience, and professionalism. Allied Health professionals integrate into every aspect of patient and client care, particularly in Diagnostic and Therapeutic services. Forecasts for continued growth in these services across Canada means that job growth in Allied Health professions will likely continue well into the 2020's.

As you pursue your Allied Health education at Camosun College, you will see how passionate we are about supporting you on your journey as a student. Learning isn't always a linear pathway and success shouldn't always be defined by progression alone. We value all learning opportunities and recognize that at sometimes, it takes great challenges to reveal strength of heart, clarity of mind, and connection to spirit. We designed these guidelines and procedures to help you understand and access the resources and information you will need to be successful.

Your instructors in the Allied Health & Technologies Department are committed to helping you transform into competent, compassionate Allied Health professionals. We want you to thrive in the diverse and ever- changing environments within the healthcare workplace. We work hard to model and promote life-long best practices in Allied Health Sciences by providing you access to authentic learning opportunities using creative, innovative teaching practices. You will have the opportunity to experience the real workplace environments of your chosen profession where you will learn alongside actual employed professionals in your discipline.

No matter how long your program is, you are already a member of a diverse, interprofessional team of learners. Get to know the campus, explore the all the college's resources, and spend some time getting to know your instructors and your fellow students – they are all part of your support team. We know that your journey into your Allied Health education at Camosun College will be the beginning of an inspiring, life- changing future!

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to stop by my office, discuss them with one of your instructors, or any of the dedicated staff here at Camosun College.

Sincerely,

Lynelle Yutani MRT, RPA/RRA, RT
Chair, Department of Allied Health & Technologies

Contact the Allied Health & Technologies department.

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2. Program Values

Vision

In the Department of Allied Health & Technology, we inspire life-changing learning by transforming learners into competent, compassionate health professionals.

Mission

Our college seeks to build a better future for our community with relevant, innovative and applied education. We realize this by promoting life-long best practices in Allied Health sciences with authentic learning opportunities and creative, innovative teaching practices.

Values

We value our learners, because they choose us. Learners are why we exist. Everything we do should contribute to successful outcomes. The experiences we offer distinguish us from other institutions offering the same courses and programs that we do. Each Learner contributes uniquely. We value all human diversity, which enriches us all. We are all Learners. All students, staff, faculty, and administrators are learners. Remembering this helps us keep perspective. Every interaction between humans is a learning opportunity. Learning is everyone's responsibility.

Professionalism is a learned and vital skill for healthcare. Professionalism is the cornerstone of service to others in health care. It is the concept of constructed altruism, when fulfilling one's duty all actions taken should be in the best interest of the patient or client, not in self-interest.

Professionalism is a learned behaviour, one that we choose to live and model for our students. We apply this more broadly to ourselves as educators as well as in our clinical practice. 1

  • Respect – We strive to do no harm to ourselves or others in either words or deeds. We care about the feelings and well-being of ourselves and others. Even when we dislike someone, we allow them equal forum
  • Self-Regulation – We maintain the same level of decorum without oversight as we would under the pressure of observation. Even when no one is "overseeing or watching" us, we uphold our ethics & values. We freely accept our duty and commitment to service.
  • Integrity – We are committed to honesty, transparency, fairness, and promoting ethical behaviours. We are not afraid or embarrassed to admit when we are wrong or need help; this is how we grow and most importantly, how we all learn.
  • Accountability – We take personal responsibility for our thoughts, words, and deeds. We consider, and accept the consequences of our behaviours. We are accountable to each other, students, the college, the public, our governing bodies, and ourselves.
  • Leadership – We value the leader who is an ambassador for their cohort or field, proactively promoting their profession through mentorship and teaching. We willingly share our knowledge and experience.
  • Image – We display our values physically and visually with our outward appearance, language, and behaviours. We accept that how others perceive us affects our ability to interact successfully with them.
  • Specialized Knowledge – We make a deep personal commitment to attain, develop, maintain, and improve the knowledge required to perform our duty.
  • Mastery – We demonstrate excellence in applied knowledge by continuously striving to exceed our own best efforts through ongoing self- reflection, re-assessment, quality improvement, certification, and life-long learning. We believe reflective practice is crucial for attaining mastery.

Interprofessional/interdisciplinary collaboration builds healthy teams. We welcome and invite contributions from every team member. We strive for open and effective communication where each team member's voice is heard and respected. We each bring unique skills and strengths to the table, everyone benefits from working together. We collaborate to foster group pride and ownership in our accomplishments and satisfaction in tasks well done. We strive to demonstrate how collaborative behaviours and environments enhance group and personal success. We seek to empower students to do the same in pursuit of their educational goals.

Sustainability is necessary for progress. We accept that we are one part of a larger equation, and that our actions influence the overall balance of a greater whole. We do not fear the new and we do not discount traditional wisdoms. Be they ideas, processes, requirements, technology, needs, programming, or people, we use careful intent and intelligence to assess and benefit from future innovations and our existing resources. We commit to sustainable practices that help to ensure that we are able to continue providing a learner-centric environment for students of the future.

Diversification is a path to growth. We continuously work to increase and enhance student access to existing programs by expanding capacity, creating more flexibility, and providing work integrated solutions to students. We recognize that adult learners come with a range of existing knowledge and skills in a wide range of abilities; all of which contribute to both success and challenges on the pathway to competence. We welcome and value aboriginal ways of being and knowing as ways to grow our practice understanding. We actively pursue new programing and continuing education opportunities. We explore and promote the establishment of new degrees, certifications, credentials, and diplomas that provide pathways for student growth and future success.

Quality is everyone's responsibility. We strive for continuous quality improvement of our student's experiences, our programming and curriculum, our equipment and learning tools, and ourselves. Quality assurance and improvement are the responsibility of every member of the team. We listen carefully to students, each other, our educational partners, our national certification agencies, and accrediting bodies. We reflect before we react; only responding with our collective best efforts to ensure we meet or exceed the highest quality standards in health science education.

1. Portions of this interpretation of Professionalism paraphrased from the Canadian Medical Association, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, The American Board of Internal Medicine, and http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/professionalism.htm.

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3. Teaching Philosophy

We exist to provide students with a unique, learner-centred Diagnostic Medical Sonography education focused on superior professional preparation through: relevant, authentic learning experiences, access to state-of-the-art equipment and technology, and collaboratively supervised clinical practicums with hands-on patient care.

We aim to produce graduates with competence, compassion, and the highest level of professionalism who are well prepared to achieve entry-level proficiency as outlined by Sonography Canada and therefore are employable all across Canada.

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4. Program Learning Outcomes

Through the combination of rigorous academic study and practicum experience, students learn the art and science of performing diagnostic sonographic imaging procedures with competence, compassion, and the highest level of professionalism.

Levelled academic content with integrated simulation and clinical experiences allow students to demonstrate gradual attainment of competency in a learner-centric environment. Students experience a variety of approaches to educational delivery, including traditional face-to-face classroom instruction, practical simulation labs, enhanced courses combining face-to-face instruction with online learning supports, and exclusively online courses.

On campus, students utilize state-of-the-art educational tools such as: life-size adult phantoms (simulated human bodies), ultrasound equipment, and a fully-integrated online learning management system to prepare them for each of the clinical and final practicum placements at our partner sites. During each clinical rotation, students develop and enhance their clinical skills and judgment by engaging in hands-on care in a rapidly evolving health care system. Students demonstrate progress through graduated levels of competence while applying their growing knowledge and skills to diverse practice situations in a collaboratively supervised clinical environment.

Students who complete this 24-month continuous study program will receive a Diploma in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Graduates of the program will be eligible to write the  Sonography Canada Certification. Students with Sonography Canada credentials will be eligible for employment across Canada and beyond.

Students who graduate from the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program achieve entry-level proficiency as outlined by Sonography Canada. Diploma graduates of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program are also eligible for a variety of Canadian and international programs that offer Bachelor's degrees in Health Science or related disciplines. A certified Sonographer (CRGS/CRCS/CRVS) can pursue advanced practice roles through continuing professional development or completing additional certifications. Other professional opportunities for the certified sonographer could include administration, management, leadership, teaching, vendor sales, information technology, and research.


4.1 Performance Indicators

Upon successful completion of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, graduates will be able to:

    1. Demonstrate the core professional attributes of a Sonographer as reflected in professional, provincial, and federal policy, legislation, and regulations.(Professionalism)
    2. Produce optimal, quality diagnostic images by applying their knowledge of human anatomy, physiology, pathology, professionalism, communication, and scientific principles.(Knowledge)
    3. Manage clinical interactions proficiently utilizing best practices in a competent, safe, and responsible manner observing legal and ethical workplace standards.(Safe Practice)
    4. Practice appropriate, accurate, effective communication with members of the public and all members of the health care team. (Communication)
    5. Support and promote a collaborative approach to providing high quality, patient-centred care while ensuring the effective functioning of self. (Teamwork)
    6. Independently respond to challenging and complex situations by evaluating relevant variables to make appropriate decisions or solve problems. (Critical Thinking)
    7. Meet the entry to practice requirements of Sonography Canada. (Competence)

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5. Collaborative Learning Process

You have chosen to work in a health care profession that demands special skills, knowledge, values, and attitudes. In order to be successful at Camosun College, students are responsible for understanding and adhering to the expectations and policies as outlined in the Camosun College Policies (/about/policies/) .

Policies and expectations unique to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program are outlined in the following pages. In some cases they duplicate those of the college and the clinical environment and are repeated here in order to emphasize their importance. Camosun College and program policies are designed to:

  • Enhance a learner's chance for success
  • Provide education on proper safety procedures in order to protect the student, technologists and the public Ensure a high standard of knowledge and care for the patient
  • Inform the student of the expectations and responsibilities associated with professional conduct.
  • Assist students, teachers and administrative staff to monitor and intervene when a student is "at risk" of not meeting program requirements (CC)
  • You are ultimately responsible for your learning and progress and are expected to seek help in a timely manner when you are unable to meet the course requirements. The college is committed to supporting student success and to working with students in achieving their educational goals.
  • When an instructor, during the process of ongoing assessment, determines you to be at academic risk, the instructor will alert you and discuss improvement strategies. Because you are ultimately responsible for your progress, you should communicate your progress and challenges to the instructor and act on the improvement strategies suggested.
  • Students entering HHS programs are aware of and agree to these Standards and their application, including consultation among teachers and with other support services in Camosun College as required.

5.1 Supporting Diverse Learners

Purpose of Procedures and Guidelines

  1. The purpose of these guidelines are to ensure that the department supports students' educational interests and protects their rights.
  2. These guidelines ensure that students, faculty, and the Chair each understand their roles and responsibilities. It is important that each party appropriately and consistently follow all steps of the process.
  3. Departmental procedures and guidelines provide clarity when college policy is unclear or vague.

These guidelines are in place to:

  • enhance a learner's chance for success
  • provide opportunities for others to succeed
  • effectively utilize learner and college resources
  • assist students, their instructors, and staff to monitor and intervene when a student is "at risk"

5.2 AHT Student Appeals Policy

For more information, see: Camosun College Student Appeals Policy E-2.4

Purpose/Rationale

The purpose of this policy is to provide an appeal process for students who have reason to believe they have been graded unfairly or treated unjustly in relation to discipline by Camosun College (instructors or other decision-makers).

Scope/Limits

This policy applies to all students enrolled in Camosun College courses and programs. This policy does not apply to non-final grades.

During the Process

During the Appeal Process, students are entitled to:

  • Specific timelines for each stage of their appeal
  • Receive all decisions through a known, preferred means of notification & communication
  • Remain in the program during the appeals process. Students are granted permission from the Chair to continue attending classes until a final, binding decision is made regarding the student's appeal or the student withdraws from the appeal process.

Resolution Timelines

When a student initiates the formal appeals process, they are provided with a specific resolution timeline in writing by the Chair of the Allied Health & Technologies Department.

  • This timeline is to include specific times & dates that the student, the instructor or instructors, and Chair must respond with evidence, explanations, and or decisions concerning the appeal.
  • The timeline should be provided in the written communication format of preference on record for the student.
  • Sufficient explanation of the timelines and responsibilities of all parties will be provided to all involved individuals.
  • A participant's failure to comply with any stage of the timeline will immediately escalate the process to the next decision level.
  • For any portion of the timeline that the Chair cannot determine sufficiently, they will investigate & advocate on behalf of the student to ensure the most reasonable resolution time possible. The Chair cannot control specific variables, such as the dates of Board of Education meetings.
  • When possible, effort is made to prevent students from requiring the appeals process through supportive interventions consistent with Camosun College Academic Policies.
  • Programs within Allied Health & Technologies strive to ensure fairness and fair processes are observed at every stage of our supportive learning strategies processes. It is customary all communications to be shared with the Ombudsperson and for the Ombudsperson to be invited to all conversations with the student. Students are encouraged to independently seek the council of the Ombudsperson as well.

Section A. Multi-stage School Level Appeal (First Stage Appeal) of the Camosun College Student Appeals Policy

  1. Students initiating an appeal of their final grade in a course have ten (10) working/business days from the last day of the official posted final examination day in which to submit their appeal, in writing, to their instructor.
  2. Students initiating an appeal of a disciplinary action have ten (10) working/business days from the start of the action in which to submit their appeal, in writing, to the individual who imposed the discipline.
  3. Students and instructors have five (5) working/business days from the date the appeal was initiated to conclude any discussions regarding the status of the appeal. Unless the student notifies the instructor, in writing, that they have withdrawn the appeal, the instructor must submit their decision, in writing, to both the student and department Chair by the end of the 5th day.
  4. Students unsatisfied with the outcome of the first level of appeal have five (5) working/business days from the date of the written decision for their first (Instructor level) appeal to submit a second appeal to the departmental Chair.
  5. The student and the Chair have five (5) working/business days from the date the second appeal was initiated to conclude any discussions regarding the status of the appeal. Unless the student notifies the Chair, in writing, that they have withdrawn the appeal, the Chair must submit their decision, in writing, to both the student and Dean by the end of the 5th day.
  6. Students unsatisfied with the outcome of the second level of appeal have five (5) working/business days from the date of the written decision for their second (Chair level) appeal to submit a third appeal to the school Dean or their designate.
  7. The student and the Dean have five (5) working/business days from the date the third appeal was initiated to conclude any discussions regarding the status of the appeal. Unless the student notifies the Dean, in writing, that they have withdrawn the appeal, the Dean must submit their decision, in writing, to both the student and the Vice President Education by the end of the 5th day.
  8. Students unsatisfied with the decision of the Dean may appeal to the Vice President Education or their designate using section B. Final Appeal Stage of the College Appeals Policy.

Supporting Forms


5.3 Progression Policy

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program uses the Camosun College letter grade system; please see the HHS section of this handbook for details.

A passing mark of 65% or better is required for all courses in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program in order to be used as a prerequisite. Students must successfully complete all term requirements in order to progress to the next term.


5.4 Pregnancy Guidelines and Procedures

Exposure to any level of ultrasound carries with it a certain amount of risk. As a conservative assumption for protection purposes, the scientific community generally assumes that any exposure to ultrasound should be kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). Although no long-term effects have been demonstrated in scientific studies, it is recommended that any exposure to ultrasound follow the principles of ALARA.

Through proper instruction and strict adherence to safety precautions, it is possible to continue performing ultrasound during the period of gestation.

In the event that a student becomes pregnant, she has the option to declare or not declare her pregnancy. Voluntary declaration of pregnancy is at the discretion of the student. It is important to note that the incidental discovery of pregnancy during class activities is not considered a violation of privacy and all students are expected to respect the privacy of any students’ medical condition once disclosed.

To take advantage of the reduced exposure to ultrasound of the gestational/lower abdominal area and the accommodations required to achieve this, the pregnant student must declare her pregnancy in writing to the Program Chair.

If the pregnant student elects not to declare her pregnancy, normal exposure to ultrasound will continue to apply.

Whether or not pregnancy is declared, the pregnant student is advised to consult with her physician and select one of the following options:

A. Continued full-time status

The student must be able to meet the academic requirements and clinical objectives to continue in the program. Class or clinical time missed due to pregnancy/maternity leave will be treated as any sick time as per guidelines in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program and clinical handbooks.

As per Camosun College policy, if an incomplete grade is given due to illness, temporary disability or any other reason, the student is given six weeks into the next semester in which to complete assignments or the "incomplete" will convert to an "F".

B. Withdrawal from clinical rotations with continued participation in didactic instruction

A student may choose to continue in the didactic courses, but to withdraw from the clinical courses. In this instance, the student must be able to meet the academic requirements to continue in the program. Class time missed due to pregnancy/maternity leave will be treated as any sick time (See Attendance guidelines and procedures in this handbook).

After delivery, the student's continuation of the clinical component of the program will be at the Program Chair's discretion based on which clinical semesters that were missed, and the availability of space in the clinical schedule (i.e. Student capacity).

C. Leave of Absence

Upon learning that she is pregnant, a student may choose to opt out of both the didactic and clinical components of the program until after she has delivered. Because sonography courses are only taught once a year and during the same semester every year, this may mean that the student must sit out for an entire year before the student may re-enter the program and re-enroll in the semester's courses at the point where she withdrew if space is available (please refer to HHS Student Handbook for full details). Any student who elects not to declare her pregnancy will be considered to be in continued full-time status. Written withdrawal of pregnancy declaration may occur at any time the student determines they wish to retract.

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6. Professional Behaviour

6.1 Professional Body & Discipline-Specific Definitions/Competencies

Sonography Canada is Canada’s national professional association and certifying body for sonographers across the country.

Please see the Sonography Canada website for:

Along with community/college values and philosophies, Sonography Canada sets the foundation for establishing expectations of professional conduct in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. The role of the program is to coordinate learning to help students achieve these competencies.  Programs are also responsible to ensure students learn how to be professionals and validate attainment of competencies through ongoing assessment and evaluation.  Many of the competencies can only be evaluated by demonstrating professional behaviours, and therefore are not tested on the certification exam.  The program plays a big role in teaching a best practice mindset and helping students transfer this to their future clinical practice. This applies to everyone who is part of the community—students and faculty are expected to model these behaviours.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Professional Conduct

Students

Each student is required to abide by the following rules of conduct. Students who require further information on college, School of Health and Human Services, or program policies and expectations must arrange to clarify outstanding issues on their own.

Students enrolled in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at Camosun College, must read and understand the policies and expectations of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program and agree to:

  • comply with the clinical site selection process and be willing to accept a clinical practicum at any of the affiliated clinical sites
  • comply with Camosun College policies found on the college website and comply with Diagnostic Medical Sonography program policies
  • allow their photo to be used for instructor/student familiarization purposes
  • allow their academic documents to be reviewed by the accrediting body
  • comply with the confidentiality of patient Information policy
  • participate in classroom/laboratory/clinical exercises that impart necessary knowledge and skills required for achieving competency in the clinical environment
  • allow fellow students and instructors to touch their body in a manner appropriate for learning the practice of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Students accept that their training includes clinical simulation activities and that these activities will:

  • be explained or demonstrated by Camosun College staff member or other assigned, qualified personnel
  • involve myself, other students, staff members, clinical personnel, consenting volunteers, or consenting patients as subjects
  • be conducted in an environment appropriate for learning be supervised
  • require that I am prepared and that I employ due care and attention in their completion

Student/Faculty/Staff/Technologist Relationships

As students in a program that leads to a professional career, conduct which consistently demonstrates courtesy and respect is anticipated and expected. All students have the right to expect this of their peers and instructors and the duty to reciprocate. Professional relationships must be maintained at all times.

Students are expected to abide by the Student Conduct Policy

Instructors at Camosun College are expected to abide by the Standards of Conduct Policy

For more information on the role of the health care organization (HCO) educator, refer to the BC Practice Education Guideline on the Supervision Students


6.2 Appropriate Use of Electronic Devices/Mobile Phones

Classroom

Cell phones may be used in the classroom to support learning. Individual instructors may include further direction about the acceptable use of personal mobile devices during their classes within their course outlines.

Simulation Labs

Lab time is meant to focus on practical, hands-on skills. Cell phones are unnecessary unless used to support learning (using as a calculator for example.) Cell phones for personal use are not acceptable.

Clinical & Final Practicum

Clinical and Practicum sites will have specific policies and procedures on the use of cell phone. Phones are not permitted in clinical areas/in between performing procedures.

Personal mobile devices are a known vector for pathogens. They are proven to increase the risk of infection (for both students and patients) and increase the risk for contamination of samples and equipment. Students must not use their mobile devices during active learning times while in clinical or final practicum. Students should thoroughly wash their hands following any interaction with their mobile device prior to returning to learning activities in the workplace. Workplaces will usually provide students with semi-secure locations in which to store their mobile device during clinical activities. Students will need to evaluate if this meets their personal security requirements; or should consider leaving their mobile devices in a personally secured location, or at home during their clinical or practicum shifts.

Personal mobile devices also increase the risk of intentional and unintentional violations of patient and client privacy and confidentiality. Students should not take photos at the workplace (of themselves or the environment) while in treatment areas, including offices and workbenches to reduce the risk of unintentional privacy violations.

Phones should be kept in a locker and only used in public areas during breaks.

When using cell phones to submit clinical documentation to D2L or communicate with school, ensure this is done away from any confidential patient information and away from procedure rooms/busy work areas. If not done for educational purposes, it is a privacy breach that could lead to serious consequences, ranging from being temporarily suspended to termination of clinical placement


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7. Classroom, Lab, or Clinic Etiquette

7.1 Expectations of Student Performance

Dress Code
Students will be expected to purchase uniforms early in the first term. Students will be required to wear their uniforms during hands-on laboratory and simulation classes and at all times during clinical placements and during final practicum placements. Your instructors will advise you on which specific lab courses will require you to wear your uniform. Closed toe shoes MUST be worn during all ultrasound and patient care laboratory activities as well as during clinical and practicum. This is a WorkSafe BC requirement.  It is expected that students adhere to all other Health & Human Services Appearance Requirements for Clinical & Laboratory settings.

Preparation
Students should arrive prepared.  In ultrasound procedures labs specifically, students should have their uniforms and any other materials requested by the instructor or laboratory assistant.

Learning in Small Groups
Learning in small groups allows for increased instructor/student interactions with each other, but it is important to understand that the instructor’s attention is still divided and being patient and supportive while everyone takes their turn while also learning through observation are important skills for students. Staying on task while waiting for specific instruction or instructor presence is essential to maximize student learning. It is expected that students will make appropriate use of these periods of downtime by practicing their assigned work directly or through observation.

It is important that side conversations in class are kept to a minimum to avoid distraction to other students and the instructor. Students who are found to be disrupting class will be asked to leave at the instructor’s discretion. Continued incidents may result in further disciplinary action being taken.

Students are expected to arrive on-time for all classes and labs. Students who arrive late may not be admitted into the class or lab.

Attendance
HHS attendance guidelines apply. Additionally, Sonography faculty would appreciate an email to inform ahead of time if lab or class will be missed.  Some learning activities are dependent on having a partner; therefore faculty would need notice to make alternate arrangements or revise the plan.  Please check with each course/instructor to establish preferred ways of communicating.

Simulation Labs

What are "realistic simulation behaviours"?

As much as possible, the Sonography labs are operated as a model of a hospital diagnostic imaging department. Students learn to conduct themselves in the same professional manner expected of them in the clinical environments. In addition to providing the foundational knowledge needed for students to be successful in clinical, care has been taken to create lab activities that simulate experiences students may encounter during their preceptorship.

Behaviours developed in simulation will prepare students for deeper learning and ease them into the culture of the healthcare environment. Simulation is designed to be a learning environment free of the potential for serious unintentional harm to come to a student or patient during the development of elementary skills. This relatively consequence-free experience is designed to encourage safe experimentation, trial and error, and growth. When acting as simulated patients, it is important to stay “in character.” Students should ask for permission to touch for the purpose of practicing ultrasound procedures. Students should treat phantoms and simulators with respect and as if they are a real patient.

In order to promote a clinical-like atmosphere, uniforms should be worn during simulation labs. It is expected that students adhere to all other Health & Human Services Appearance Requirements for Clinical & Laboratory settings.


7.2 Clinic/Lab Rules

Laboratory Rules and Regulations

Proper Use of Equipment & Supplies

Care must be observed when handling ultrasound equipment, accessory imaging equipment, and ultrasound phantoms and simulators (models). Students should ask for guidance when faced with equipment difficulties. Do not force manipulation of any equipment item.

Students will be instructed on the proper use of all Laboratory equipment and accessories in the course of their learning experiences. All equipment user manuals are included in the corresponding D2L courses associated with the Ultrasound Lab activities.

Use caution with ALL equipment and supplies. Replacement and repairs are expensive. Students shall observe all posted signage, placards, checklists, and instructions during lab use. Students should report equipment or accessory failures or damage immediately. When consumable supplies need to be restocked, (i.e. gloves, ultrasound gel, linens) students should notify their instructor at the conclusion of their lab.

Exposure Restrictions

Students who are or become pregnant during the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program should refer to the Pregnancy Guidelines for detailed instructions prior to participating in laboratory activities utilizing ultrasound.

Signs & Placards

Students are expected to observe and comply with all posted signs and placards. Each ultrasound lab room has a privacy sign which may or may not be displayed.

Students must never open the door to a lab when the privacy sign is displayed. Students shall comply with all other signage, such as: class schedules, lab assignments, and quiet please.

Food & Drink

Food, beverages, and gum are not permitted in the ultrasound labs or any fourth floor labs at ANY time. Beverages in sealed containers and food permissible in the library (clean, cold, quiet, non-smelly edibles) are allowed in the classroom. Students are expected to maintain a clean classroom area, sanitary wipes are provided for this purpose.

Room Climate

 A/C units in the ultrasound rooms must always remain ON to protect the ultrasound equipment from damage by heat expansion. Only instructors may adjust the temperature settings in the Labs. If the temperature in the Labs is excessively hot or cold, students should report this to their instructor or the program assistant.

General Ultrasound Procedures Labs

Students are responsible for certain duties within the rooms/areas to which they have been assigned. These duties must be completed before leaving the lab. Lab duties will be posted for each lab by the instructor. Students need to comply with all instructor directions during labs to ensure the health and safety of all laboratory participants. Students are advised to come to each lab prepared and ready to follow instructions. Students will remain in their lab groups, as assigned. Labs may occur in the Teaching Clinic and/or a fourth floor nursing lab space.

Patient Care Labs Expectations and Rules

 Fourth floor, nursing lab rooms are heavily used. The following expectations and rules will make the labs run smoother for everyone. If you do not understand these rules, get clarification from your instructor

  • The lab must be treated and maintained like a hospital nursing unit.
  • Closed toed shoes must be worn by all faculty and students in the labs at all times. This is a Work Safe BC requirement.
  • Mannequins, beds, bedside tables, and medication carts must be left clean, tidy, and free of garbage at the end of each lab.
  • At the end of each lab, the teacher basket will only contain items for reuse. Do not place garbage in the teacher baskets.
  • Do not "borrow" materials from other teacher baskets. Extra inventory can be found on the back counter and cabinets. If more supplies are needed please ask the lab assistants.
  • Please re-use and recycle when possible.
  • Place all sharps in the sharps containers carefully.
  • Charts, textbooks, and manuals are to be neatly placed on the appropriate shelves. If photocopies are needed please ask the lab assistants.
  • Absolutely NO food or drink is permitted in the labs.
  • When supplies are running low please write them on the clipboard located on the rack in each lab.

Physics Labs

Not all physics labs are conducted in the ultrasound rooms. Physics labs that are held in the Teaching Clinic or fourth floor labs follow all of the rules listed in this handbook.

Lab Safety

Teaching Clinic & Fourth Floor Lab

Doors leading into the teaching clinic and the fourth floor lab are to be kept locked at all times, except during clinic operating hours.  The door to these Labs may be propped open only while students are under direct supervision or as required to move equipment in and out.

Students should report any suspicious activities to campus security, immediately. Students should report abuse of the teaching clinic/lab facilities or ultrasound equipment to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program staff, chair, program leader, or program assistant.

Ultrasound Laboratories and Equipment

The Teaching Clinic and Fourth Floor Laboratory rooms are considered simulation learning environments. The ultrasound equipment is not maintained to the level required for use as a diagnostic tool. Ultrasound imaging on Camosun College equipment shall never be used to form diagnosis in lieu of proper medical advice and imaging. Students found to be using ultrasound for non-academic (personal diagnostic) use may be sanctioned up to and including expulsion from the program. Students are ONLY permitted to perform academic ultrasound on laboratory partners who are active students of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. Ultrasounds are NOT to be performed on spouses, relatives, friends or students of other Camosun College Programs. If there are any questions about this requirement, please ask your instructor, program lead or chair.

Eye Wash Stations

The teaching clinic is equipped with an eyewash station located in CHW128. It is the student's responsibility to locate and become familiar with the product and process to use it.

MSDS Sheets & Hazardous Spills

Material Safety Data Sheets are maintained for all of the chemical products stored and used in the Teaching Clinic. They are to be found in a clearly marked binder located in the Reprocessing Room, CHW 127.

Refer to Camosun's Utility Failure information prior to attempting to manage any hazardous spill.

Latex Sensitivity

Latex allergy occurs with relatively high frequency within the healthcare environment and can have serious consequences. If a student has latex allergies, the following supplies will be made available to them:

Non latex (nitrile or vinyl) non sterile gloves

  • Powder free sterile latex gloves Glove liners if latex must be used
  • Other latex free medical supplies (oxygen masks, tourniquets, etc.) when possible
  • When it is not possible to provide latex free medical supplies for a laboratory activity for a student with a latex allergy, they shall be excused from the activity

It is the responsibility of the student to identify their latex allergy to the instructor and discuss options to minimize exposure.


7.3 Access to Labs

Proximity Cards & After Hours Lab Use

Students may be issued a proximity card to facilitate group study and after-hours skills practice. Upon issue of this card, the student agrees that they shall not use the ultrasound labs for any other purposes than the pursuit of the educational outcomes in the sonography courses for which they are enrolled. In the event that a student loses their card they must contact the Program Assistant immediately. These students may not be eligible for this privilege in the future.

Students who plan to study after hours must sign-up to do so through an instructor or Program Assistant, who then notifies Campus Security that there will be students in the Labs.

Inappropriate behaviour in the labs will not be tolerated. Students shall not prop open classroom or ultrasound lab/Teaching Clinic doors after hours. Students are responsible for damages/losses to equipment, accessories, and supplies occurring during scheduled after hours study times. Usage of all proximity cards is logged; students are urged to maintain them in strict security.

Students are responsible for turning off the equipment and tidying the rooms when after-hours sessions are completed. A/C units in the ultrasound rooms must always remain ON. Students allowed access to these rooms outside of regular hours will be held responsible for activities that are deemed unacceptable and/or  for damage incurred. Students found in violation of any of the above program rules will be denied future access to the ultrasound labs and equipment after hours.

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8. Practicum Guidelines

8.1 Clinical and Community Placement Protocol

Clinical placements will be at a variety of sites on Vancouver Island. In order to provide a diverse clinical experience, as many students as possible will be assigned to different clinical sites over their course of study. Although student input is used for practicum site assignments, there is no guarantee that students will receive their preferred placements. Waitlisted students may not get the opportunity to indicate a site preference. Posted clinical lab and practicum assignments are considered final. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation and accommodations while on their clinical and practicum placements. In the event a clinical or practicum seat is vacated by a student, the rotations for that student may be made available to the remaining cohort using a fair allotment process in which all members of the cohort may vie for the available seat. Seats that are reserved for waitlisted, re-entry, or transfer students may not become available.

The program reserves the right to exercise discretion when making vacated clinical seats available for re- allotment. Vacant clinical seat reassignment due to documented medical needs, compassionate accommodations, legal requirements, and/or portfolio requirements supersedes all other considerations. In these rare and special circumstances, individual students may be asked to voluntarily exchange their clinical seats. While they are not obligated to exchange their seats, they may be given special considerations in the allotment process for doing so.

When possible, the program attempts to reduce the likelihood that a student is placed in a remote location alone. Clinical seats may not become available for re-allotment if undue stress will be placed on a lone student at a remote site. Clinical site re-allotment is subject to Clinical Portfolio conditions, if a student will not meet their Competency goals when reassigned, they are considered ineligible for re-allotment.


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9. Program Resources for Learning

9.1 Roles and Responsibilities

Camosun College

Student

  • Adheres to guidelines and policies established by the school for a safe and effective clinical education experience
  • Adheres to sonography clinical site policies and guidelines related to clinical practice and student practice
  • Takes personal responsibility for learning and is familiar with the information posted to D2L
  • Upholds the program values and professional expectations while continuing educational program off site (at practicum site)
  • Actively participates in ultrasound procedures and recognizes the dual-role of the clinical setting as a learning environment and patient care/treatment facility
  • Maintains professional boundaries and resolves personal conflict/personal ethical dilemmas without being disruptive to others
  • Seeks help when needed and never works outside of personal scope of practice

School Instructor/Liaison

  • Manages/updates D2L content
  • Fills the roll of clinical mentor
  • Has been officially trained by the program for evaluation of students (competency assessments and formative evaluations)
  • Understands the guidelines and learning process established by the school for safe and effective clinical education
  • Manages/responds to online discussion forums
  • Conducts site visits to ensure students are meeting course learning objectives/clinical requirements according to suggested milestones
  • Provides written feedback to students on all assignments Helps resolve conflicts
  • Initiates success plans and/or learning contracts when remediation determined by the Clinical Instructor does not result in favourable outcomes
  • Determines final course grade (status of completion)
  • Member of the Clinical Liaison Committee

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Leader/Coordinator

  • Participates/facilitates collaboration between clinical sites and school (e.g. Clinical Liaison Committee and Program Advisory Committee)
  • Supports students when needed (e.g. involvement in learning contracts)

Allied Health & Technologies Department Chair

  • Participates/facilitates collaboration between clinical sites and school (e.g. Clinical Liaison Committee and Program Advisory Committee)
  • Supports students when needed (e.g. involvement in learning contracts)

Health Care Organization

Clinical Staff/Technologist

  • Expected to observe/supervise student practice and offer assistance/guidance in daily practice scenarios
  • Encouraged/expected to provide verbal feedback as well as written feedback through the use of observation forms
  • Have not been officially trained by the program for evaluation of students (competency assessments and formative evaluations)

Clinical Site Supervisor/Leader/Department Manager

  • Participates/facilitates collaboration between clinical sites and school (e.g. Clinical Liaison Committee and Program Advisory Committee)
  • Meets the needs of students and staff
  • Site supervisors participate in managing student practice when the Clinical Liason is not on site or not available

9.2 Terminology

Desire-2-Learn (D2L)

D2L is Camosun's Learning Management System (LMS).

All students enrolled in the program, as well as clinical staff who have ongoing involvement with the program, will have access to the online content applicable to the clinical practicum course(s). This can be accessed through a web browser at any time.

D2L News Feed

The D2L News Feed is used as a centralized communication hub for updates and reminders pertaining to the all courses. The News Feed is accessible to all students enrolled in courses, academic instructors, Clinical Liaisons - the faculty course instructors, and clinical site staff who are directly involved in assessment and evaluation. Online content should be considered dynamic. All users are encouraged to set their notification settings to have notices sent directly to their email accounts. It is recommended that the News Feed be reviewed on a daily basis.

Discussion Forum

Online public forums are available for general inquiries about matters related academic courses and clinical practicum courses, such as questions about assignments, guidelines, learning goals, etc. All users, including clinical site staff, are encouraged to post inquiries or comments and respond to each other. The Clinical Liaison and/or faculty course instructors will review posts on a daily basis. All efforts will be made to provide a response within 48 business hours.

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10. Info for Graduates

10.1 Licensing & Professional Association Information

Membership in Sonography Canada

Sonography Canada is the certification body for ultrasound technologists in Canada. This membership provides access to Sonography Canada literature, educational events and professional networking. Sonography Canada is responsible for the administration of the certification examination. Information about joining Sonography Canada will be provided to the students during the first term of the program. Student Memberships are free.

Students must join Sonography Canada prior to applying to take their national certification examination. Students are encouraged to join early in their program.

Sonography Canada Certification Examination

At the completion of an accredited Sonography program students may access the Sonography Canada national certification exam. This examination is the standard for employment across Canada. In provinces which regulate the sonography profession (with the exception of Quebec), an ultrasound technologist must be Sonography Canada certified. In non-regulated provinces, most employers still use the Sonography Canada certification as the benchmark for hiring.

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Contact Us
Camosun College Lansdowne
3100 Foul Bay Rd
Victoria BC V8P 5J2
Camosun College Interurban
4461 Interurban Rd
Victoria BC V9E 2C1
  • 250–370–3000
  • 1–877–554–7555 (toll-free)

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