By: Steve Dool

Dean of Nursing, Barbara Foulds says when the program opens it will only have room for 20 students. If the program is successful, they will look to expand in the future.

A new diagnostic medical ultrasonography has been approved by the college which, pending further
approval will start in the fall of 2013.

The graduate certificate program will only be open to people who already have a diploma or advanced degree related to medicine. This includes nursing, radiation technology, nuclear medicine, paramedic, respiratory therapy and other medical fields.

“In 2009 the hospital community indicated that there was a shortage of medical radiation technologists,” said Joan Degan, the chair of Allied Health.

“So a labour market analysis was done and it revealed that there was a shortage of MRT’s and also there was going to be a shortage of ultrasonographers.

The college started the MRT course in 2010 and will have the first graduates in December.

“We are looking to implement a diagnostic medical ultasonography program as well,” said Degan.

“There is quite an approval process to go through for any new program and currently this program has gone through all of Algonquin College’s approval process. Now it has gone to the credentialing services for Ontario, and then it goes through the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities,” said Degan.

After that the program will be open for applictations.

According to Barbara Foulds, associate dean of nursing studies, diagnostic medical ultrasound is an imaging specialty that uses technologies to provide information to medical practitioners to diagnose and base treatment.

She said students will work in the college’s simulation facility and then go on to do a placement in local hospitals.
“This is a more advanced program that uses different tools and different technologies to provide more information to a practitioner than a general X-ray,” said Foulds.

Foulds said she expects it to be a competitive program, especially when you consider that the MRT program gets 700 applicants for 40 positions.

The diagnostic medical ultrasonography program will only take in 20 students when it starts.

“The reason for the small intake is because of the placements, if we can expand in the future we will,” said Foulds.
She also said because the area is advancing there will be lots of positions opening up in the future.

“We are doing it now in response to the need in the community and because there are lots of jobs.”