Visualizing the Future of Health Care

UM News,

New Hugoton Foundation donation will advance sonography education at SONHS
New SonoSite SII ultrasound machines will augment hands-on learning in the SHARE™ skills lab environment.


A generous donation from the Hugoton Foundation has enabled the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) to acquire six new sophisticated ultrasound machines on which students will learn to master a range of diagnostic and procedural applications designed to improve patient outcomes.

Ultrasound, also called sonography, uses sound waves to develop visual images from inside the body. These images are obtained from the skin’s surface, and do not penetrate the body like the radiation emitted from X-rays. Over the past decade, sonography advances have reduced the size of ultrasound machines, allowing nurses and other health care professionals to use them at the bedside. Patient benefits from point-of-care ultrasound are well-documented. For example, clinical data show that first attempt successful IV insertion rates are 96 percent-plus with the use of ultrasound, versus 35 to 60 percent without ultrasound, thereby reducing complications, infections, and discomfort, while significantly increasing patient satisfaction scores.

“This new equipment, paired with forward-thinking simulation and nursing education, positions SONHS to lead the quickly emerging area of point-of-care ultrasound technology,” says Jeffrey Groom, SONHS’ associate dean for Simulation Programs and professor of clinical. “The curriculum is specifically designed to offset the cognitive overload that has been identified in learning to acquire proficiency with complex clinical skills.”

Students in the undergraduate BSN and graduate acute care and anesthesia programs will use the new SonoSite SII ultrasound machines in conjunction with the existing SonoSim Ultrasound Simulation teaching programs at SONHS’ Simulation Hospital for Advancing Research and Education, or SHARE™.

The donation also funded six iPADS that attach to the SonoSite SII machines to enable students and faculty to view and reference anatomy, as well as procedural apps and resources while performing sonography. The additional equipment gives SONHS students more hands-on sonography time, ensuring a head start toward proficiency prior to clinical placement.

“Learning to perform sonography is a cognitive skill enhanced by ultrasound simulators, but it also is a tactile, spatial-relational skill that can only be enhanced by using real ultrasound machines,” explains Groom. “Expanding the number of functional ultrasound machines at our disposal has rounded out the learning process for these procedures, mastery of which is vital for the contemporary nurse.”

The Hugoton Foundation’s significant donations have allowed SONHS to purchase state-of-the-art equipment to help educate the next generation of nurses. “The Hugoton Foundation is an integral philanthropic partner of the School of Nursing and Health Studies and SHARE™,” said Dean Cindy L. Munro. “Their latest grant in progressive ultrasound technology will solidify our educational preeminence in preparing students for the modern health care system. We greatly appreciate the longstanding support of Hugoton Foundation President and Managing Director Joan K. Stout, RN, and applaud her lifelong commitment to advancing nursing education.