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LSUE, NSU Partner on Sonography

Louisiana State University Eunice, Northwestern State University and Willis-Knighton Health System are collaborating to help prepare students to work as diagnostic medical sonographers.

LSU Eunice is using a $117,124 grant from the Board of Regents to offer its Certificate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at Northwestern State's College of Nursing and School of Allied Health in Shreveport.

The program will start in June. Those enrolled will be LSU Eunice students and will take classes through desktop video at Northwestern State's campus at 1800 Line Ave. in Shreveport and clinicals at Willis-Knighton, according to Danielle Bertrand, director of the LSU Eunice diagnostic medical sonography program.

"We are so excited about this collaboration. There is a definite need for sonographers in the Shreveport area," said Kelli Haynes, director of the radiologic sciences program at Northwestern State. "Shreveport has needed an ultrasound program for many years. This program will fill a need in our local medical community and provide good job opportunities for those who complete it."

Diagnostic medical sonography utilizes sound waves to produce high definition images of the body to aid in the diagnosis of the patient. The specialties of sonography that are used in the diagnostic field include areas of the abdomen, pelvis, heart and vascular system. Sonographers must have a thorough understanding of the organs and vasculature within the body.

Sonographers work closely with patients and radiologists, obtaining high quality sonographic images. They document all pathologic processes for interpretation by a radiologist, educate the patient on sonographic procedures and protocols being performed and communicate with patients and health care workers.

All program completers required to take the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography Principles and Instrumentation Examination passed on the first attempt. One hundred percent of graduates over the past four years are employed in the field.

This is the fifth program collaboration between Northwestern State and LSU Eunice. The two institutions have 2 plus 2 agreements in allied health, criminal justice, nursing and social work, allowing students to transfer from LSU Eunice to Northwestern State without losing credit hours.

For more information on the program, go to lsue.edu/dms.

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February 20, 2014