The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Growing medical field extends tentacles

Sonography students at City College may find it easier to secure clinical placement because of four new Affiliation Agreement Contracts with statewide hospitals and facilities.

“The contracts are essential to the program. We couldn’t train people without facilities,” said Debra McMahan, chair of the Radiology and Imaging Science and Diagnostic Medical Sonography departments at City College. “Our program is based on the willingness of the medical community to accept and train students.”

The sonography department acquired agreements between City College and Kaiser Permanente, Encino-Tarzana Medical Center, Templeton Imaging, and Twin Cities Community Hospital, increasing the number of contracts the department has obtained from 19 to 23.

Although Joe Sullivan, vice president of business services, has already signed the contracts they are awaiting approval from the college’s board of trustees to be finalized.

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“The contracts are important, we need more of them,” McMahan said.

The program, which began last June, only accepts 20 students per year.

Every student must complete 1,800 hours of clinical, hands-on experience and training to receive a certificate.

Some sonography students shared McMahan’s enthusiasm about the contracts.

“It’s a good thing we got the contracts because we need them,” said Grace Daniels, a sonography student who is completing her clinical training in Ventura.

Students are not the only ones who benefit from the agreements. McMahan said the facilities also gain from them as well because they have the opportunity to custom train and preview students who they might hire.

Though the program received four new contracts, obtaining them is not always an easy task.

“It’s a new program, so the concept of sonographers training students is also a new one,” McMahan said. “Some facilities back out of the contracts, but we ask for six months notice so we have time to re-place the student.”

Carla Seder, clinical coordinator for the sonography program, criticized the lack of facility involvement.

“Companies don’t see the positive aspect of having a student trainee,” Seder said. “Their excuse is that they are too busy but, I think it’s a copout.”

As of now, students who live in Santa Barbara may have to complete their clinical training out of town.

“Santa Barbara is a challenging city to place students,” said Seder. “About seven students live in Santa Barbara, and we have only three local placements. Many students have to go out of town to complete their clinical.”

She also added that though there are many hospitals that are not willing to train students, Goleta Valley has been supportive of the program.

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