Sonographer University: A Hands-On Training Course for Adult Sonographers Performing Pediatric Echocardiography

Lindsay Hamilton-Scott, Jennifer H. Huang, Christina Ronai, Erin J. Madriago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Children with critical congenital heart disease (CHD) often present in remote areas with life-threatening illness. Although performing complete pediatric echocardiograms requires significant training, remote locations necessitate sonographers with limited pediatric experience screen for CHD. The Sonographer University (SU) was designed to improve comfort in adult sonographers scanning children and recognizing CHD. Methods: The SU consisted of lectures, multimedia case studies, roundtable discussions, pathology stations, and hands-on scanning of 20 volunteer pediatric patients with either normal or diseased hearts. Topics included an overview of critical congenital heart lesions, crucial views for each defect, and pitfalls in imaging children. Results: Forty-four participants completed the SU seminar. In pretest assessment, approximately two-thirds said they were currently required to scan children. Participants’ comfort level sonographically scanning children and recognizing CHD improved substantially. A posttest showed that the course improved participants’ skill, knowledge, and confidence with pediatric studies. Conclusion: The SU seminar helped sonographers from remote areas to develop improved recognition of CHD, confidence in pediatric scanning, and methods for obtaining assistance with imaging a critically ill child.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-565
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • congenital heart disease
  • echocardiography
  • education
  • pediatric echocardiography
  • simulation training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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