RIO GRANDE — The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College recognized their 2016 Diagnostic Medical Sonography graduates with a pinning ceremony.
Stephanie Saunders, DMS program director, said she is proud of the students’ work throughout the year.
“Out of our 19 graduates this year, 13 found immediate employment, or continued on to get their bachelor’s degrees,” Saunders said. “This is the eleventh year we’ve had a DMS program at Rio and we are really proud to see these students continuing the tradition of serving our communities through this field. They worked hard throughout the year, and this ceremony is a recognition of their hard work and dedication.”
Saunders said the students in the program are required to take a physics exam called the Sonographic Physics and Instrumentation board exam (SPI) before graduation which is part of the registry requirements of the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). Passing the exam is an internationally recognized credential in the DMS field.
“This is the first time in the history of the program we have a 100 percent pass rate on the exam,” Saunders said. “The national pass rate this year was only about 74 percent for the physics exam, so to say our students exceeded that and all passed the exam is a huge honor. This shows potential employers we are preparing our students for their board exams, and they are able to succeed in the profession.”
Rio’s general DMS program has been accredited since 2006 and received its reaccreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Programs
“We have these students for 15 months and they are like a family by the time they graduate,” Saunders said. “It’s really exciting to watch them start the program never having even held some of the equipment to watching end the program by helping teach the incoming students what they’ve learned. It’s rewarding to be a part of that growth.”
The graduates for the 2016 year who received their associate degrees are Julie Crace, Andrea Hunt, Amber Lambert, Kiana Osborne, Peggy Shiflett, Laissie Stocker, Taylor Weaver, Megan Lamb, Lauren Mitchell, Marissa Radcliff, Brooke Rider, Kelsey Risner, Laci Stanforth, Courtney Thomas, Aubrey Thornsberry and Andrea Wines.
The graduates who received their bachelor’s degree are Abbie Loffing, Taylor Newland and Samantha Smart.
Jessica Patterson is a communications specialist with URG.