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St. Joseph's Health Centre Toronto

Laura Prince wins national sonography award for her commitment to education

Sonographers are often referred to as medical detectives. Through ultrasound exams, they get to see what’s going on inside their patients, and then use this information to help health specialists diagnose ailments or to give expectant parents a glimpse of their baby in utero.

When Laura Prince, Medical Education Specialist in Ultrasound, started her career in sonography 20 years ago at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, she quickly discovered her passion for education on the practice.

During her career, Laura has mentored and educated Michener and the Mohawk-McMaster students who do their clinical rotations at St. Joseph’s, developed an online education course for MSK Sonography at the Michener Institute, and in 2014, travelled to Ethiopia’s Addis Adaba University with colleagues to teach residents how to use Ultrasound.

For her work, Laura is the recipient of the national Fellowship Award in Ultrasound from Sonography Canada.

“Education at its core is a means of improving the human condition. When knowledge is shared, we help grow an individual’s potential and ultimately, their impact on society, on our profession, and on our patients,” said Laura.

Laura also helped develop material for an organization-wide learning tool on early pregnancy loss at St. Joseph’s. The information that Laura and the team contributed to the course includes who to contact for psychological assistance should the patient require it, what to do if there are fetus remains after pregnancy loss, and important associated statistics on pregnancy loss.

Sonographers often spend an extended period with patients due to the nature of their examinations, and this time together allows patients to share personal stories that are sometimes difficult to hear. To maintain staff morale and give the team an outlet to process these challenging conversations, Laura reached out to the Spiritual Care team to develop monthly meetings that contain fun and light team-based activities, such as sewing bears for paediatric patients, gathering for tea and scones and watching videos on resilience in the workplace. Laura also provides monthly educational rounds to the team to promote learning and growth.

“Laura demonstrated a keen interest in education fairly early in her career and since then has been on this trajectory of excellence,” said Lisa Evans, Operations Leader for Ultrasound and Medical Imaging at St. Joseph’s. “We are very proud of her for receiving this award. St. Joseph’s is very lucky to have such an exceptional leader in the field of Ultrasound on our team!”

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