A new diagnostic medical sonography diploma program offered by the College of New Caledonia in Prince George will provide access to more students wishing to pursue a career in ultrasound.
The expectation is for 16 new graduates per year as a result of an investment by the Province of $494,000 in annual operating funding, $400,000 for one-time start-up costs and capital funding $1.5 million for equipment and renovations.
The new program will increase the overall number of sonography graduates in B.C. in addition to addressing regional demand by encouraging students to work in Northern or Interior British Columbia.
The College of New Caledonia is planning the first intake of 16 students in September 2018 with the first graduates expected in fall 2020.
Diagnostic medical sonography uses high-frequency sound waves to examine the developing fetus, heart, abdomen, pelvis and blood vessels. Students in B.C. learn diagnostic problem-solving and team collaboration skills to give each patient the highest quality of care.
The program is expected to consist of a 27-month, full-time diploma program including 46 weeks of clinical experiences in hospitals and / or clinics.
Shirley Bond, Prince George Valemount MLA and Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour on behalf of Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson –
“I believe in the importance of training healthcare professionals in Northern B.C. We know that training closer to home means graduates are more likely to stay in the north where we need them.”
Mike Morris, Prince George-Mackenzie MLA and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General –
“Sonographers are in-demand throughout British Columbia, especially here in the North. We know that students often choose to live and make a home for themselves in the communities where they study.”
Henry Reiser, president of the College of New Caledonia –
“A diagnostic medical sonography program is a welcome addition to the College of New Caledonia. Our instructors deliver affordable education pathways and skills-based training for today’s jobs in partnership with local employers, indigenous communities and service providers. Our college helps produce a highly skilled, job-ready workforce that strengthens the North’s competitive advantage and brings opportunity to where we live.”
Cathy Ulrich, CEO of Northern Health –
“Sonographers provide important diagnostic imaging services that contribute to timely and appropriate care for people in the North. Northern Health is particularly challenged in the recruitment of sonographers as many students who graduate from BCIT’s program do not relocate to the North so a new program based at CNC will be a great addition.”
Craig Smith, chief technologist, medical imaging, Northern Health –
“This program will open up opportunities to many CNC students and students living in Northern B.C. that may not have been able or willing to make the sacrifice to relocate to the Lower Mainland. It's going to bring a sense of relief knowing that we have more talent willing to train and practice their skills especially in rural areas of the province.”