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Medical Sonography student accepted for state mentoring program

Nefer Patton, a second-year Medical Sonography student at South Piedmont Community College,Nefer Patton has been accepted as one of three mentees in the inaugural group chosen for the North Carolina Ultrasound Society’s new mentoring program.

“When the opportunity came up, I thought why not do it and have contact with professionals who have been in the field for a while,” Patton said. “I don’t like to be stagnant. I like to learn something new.”

Patton’s mentor will be Diane Reed of The Women’s Hospital of Greensboro. “I don’t have a medical background, so to be able to have someone to e-mail or call is great,” Patton said. “It’s cool to have a mentor of your own.”

Patton, 27, is a native of Caracas, Venezuela, but moved to the United States when she was 7. She moved to Charlotte from Florida three years ago. In Florida, she did account transfers for a brokerage firm and general customer service for a real estate broker.

Her mother was the first to suggest to her that medical sonography might be a good field for her. But, it wasn’t until she moved to North Carolina and was taking a physics class where she had to give a report on ultrasound that she really began to take that idea seriously. “The more I researched, I thought it was cool that you could look into people’s bodies. It’s like superhero powers.

“Medical ultrasound is a great field,” she added. “When I’m with a patient and see that heart beating, it’s like ‘Oh, my God, that is so cool!’ And, you’re helping people.”

SPCC Associate Dean of Allied Health Alice Bradley, who was Medical Sonography program director at SPCC before being promoted to her current position, was instrumental in the creation of the NCUS mentoring program, along with Cathy Godwin of Johnston Community College and Laura Currie of Cape Fear Community College.

“Three years ago as vice president of the NCUS, I introduced the idea of allowing students to participate in the annual meetings as ‘trainees’ – and possibly even allowing stellar student speakers,” Bradley said. “As president, two SPCC students got to give case study presentations as a kickoff for the mentoring program in spring 2011. From there, the mentor-mentee program was developed. It took several years to develop the guidelines and role of both the mentor and the mentee.”

Bradley’s goals in helping create the program were to mold outstanding sonography students into valuable NCUS board members, give the board diverse representation and provide it with assistance during busy meetings. The mentees will be required to submit case studies for publication in the NCUS newsletter and, upon graduation, could be well-equipped to serve as full board members.

Bradley also serves as a mentor for the program.


Media inquiries: Jim Muldrow, 704-272-5441, jmuldrow@spcc.edu

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