Dec. 22, 2003
Eight Harrisburg Area Community College students now have special distinction in the college's history. They are the first to complete the college's new diagnostic medical sonographer program.

In a celebration event before the end of the fall semester the graduates were recognized for completing either the certificate or associate degree program. Recent graduate, Becky P. Hoffman, Carlisle, is also a Kutztown University graduate with a degree in psychology. After her ultrasound certification from HACC she accepted a job offer from Pinnacle Health Systems, and starts her new job at Harrisburg Hospital in January.

"I've always been fascinated with medicine - I watch The Learning Channel a lot," said the 27-year-old Hoffman, who formerly worked in therapeutic staff support at a counseling and family services center in Bethlehem before moving to Carlisle. "I decided to change careers now before too much time went by in another career. I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field and I remember making a connection after having an ultrasound myself."

Also receiving her certificate is Deborah J. Shuler, Elizabethtown, an RN with 18 years of nursing experience, will work for Pinnacle Health Systems.

Receving an associate in science degree are Kelly J. Frady, New Cumberland; Moira A. Hogan, Dauphin, who has accepted a position at Heritage Diagnostics in Lemoyne; Karen A. Koretzky, Halifax, who has accepted a position at Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill; and Camilla J. Wise, Elizabethville, also a Lock Haven University graduate with a degree in health science, will work for Pinnacle Health Systems. Two others who earned an associate degree declined to have their names published.

HACC's sonography program accommodates current health care employees who already have an associate's or bachelor's degree in radiologic technology or in some instances, another health-related degree and are looking for certification as ultrasound technicians. Students new to the field of study must complete an associate's degree. After graduating from HACC, these students have several months to arrange their certification exam with the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor statistics, the need for diagnostic medical sonographers will grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2010 as the population grows and ages, increasing the demand for diagnostic imaging and therapeutic technology. More than half of all sonographers are employed by hospitals, and most of the remainder work in physicians' offices and clinics, including diagnostic imaging centers.

For more information about diagnostic medical sonography or other in-demand health care programs at HACC contact Vicki Gentzel in HACC's health careers department at (717) 780-1988 or send email by clicking on the address below.

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