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New major fills health care demand Thanks to a new major introduced at BGSU Firelands, Jessica Bankieris is heading toward a bright future. Bankieris was enrolled in the nursing program when she became interested in the field of diagnostic medical sonography, which uses ultrasound to produce visual images of organs, tissues or blood flow inside the body. Previously, the closest school offering this sort of program, which trains ultrasound technologists, was an hour from her Castalia home. It just wasn’t doable. “I wanted to stay close to home,” she said. “I didn’t have the money to get an apartment and live closer to those other schools.” Now, BGSU Firelands has started Bankieris and nine other students on the road to earning an Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. They are currently fulfilling prerequisite courses in order to get to the heart of the program next year. At the same time, there has been an outpouring of interest in the program’s limited number of spots. “We’ve had so much interest, we have enough students for the next five years,” said Sylvia Hermo-Fedro, program director of the Radiologic Technology Program at the Firelands campus. Between 2000 and 2010 there was a market-driven, 257 percent increase in the number of health-related programs at BGSU Firelands. The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in health care will continue to increase at a rate greater than most other areas. Additionally, recent local data collected by BGSU Firelands indicate that health care training is in demand by potential students and local companies alike.

Not surprisingly, ultrasound technicians, also known as sonographers, are in demand nationally as well, according to the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The median salary for a technician, including overtime, is almost $62,000 a year. Upon graduation, BGSU Firelands students will be fully qualified as ultrasound technicians. Not only will they be prepared to work in hospitals and doctor’s offices, HermoFedro said, but they will be able to find employment with ultrasound companies in sales and training. Sonographers can also go on to further specialization in areas such as cardiology or urology. Bankieris wants to use her ultrasound training to work directly with patients. And studying close to home in the new BGSU Firelands program will make it easier to achieve her goals. For more information on the diagnostic medical sonography program at BGSU Firelands, visit or call 419-433-5560 ext. 2-0666. Photo: (From left) Radiologic Technology Program Director Sylvia Hermo-Fedro instructs Jessica Bankieris and Alyson Aponte on the latest diagnostic medical sonography equipment and techniques.

2011 - 2012 Application for Admission Enclosed BGSU Magazine 21

BGSU Magazine Winter 2011