Vancouver Island's First Sonography Program at Camosun College
Vancouver Island’s first Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program at Camosun College means reduced waitlists for students and patients on southern Vancouver Island.
It also means better access for patients and easier access for students to train closer to home for in-demand jobs.
"Students, health care workers, and patients have been calling on government to expand sonography training across the province for years - and we are listening to their call to action by opening doors and removing barriers for students pursuing a dynamic career in health care," said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. "The new program, a first on Vancouver Island, will empower more professionals to study, work and thrive closer to home."
Diagnostic medical sonographers are in demand in B.C. These health care professionals take images of, and assess unborn babies, organs, tissues, and blood flow inside the body, providing key diagnostic information to doctors about a patient's medical condition.
"Our government is committed to improving the health care services people count on, and by adding more sonography graduates throughout the province, we're working to ensure people can get the care they need in a timely fashion," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. "More sonography graduates mean more sonographers who are workforce-ready and more access to the services that people need to thrive."
The Province is investing $1.4 million to support the development, launch, and delivery of the DMS program at Camosun College's Interurban campus. The first intake of 16 students will take place in May 2020. The next intake in 2021 will double the number of students to 32 in the two-year program. The government also provided $4 million in capital funding for equipment and to create lab and classroom space to accommodate the new program in the recently opened Alex & Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness.
"Camosun College is continuing to offer programs that are responsive, relevant and what local communities need," said Sherri Bell, president, Camosun College. "Previously, students who wanted to become sonographers had to leave Vancouver Island for their education. Soon, they will be able to study close to home."
Until this year, sonography was only offered at BCIT's Burnaby campus. In January 2019, the government announced a sonography program expansion at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George. Combined with this announcement, the government has doubled the number of sonography seats in the province.