Mercy’s Staggs receives Breast Sonography certification

December 13, 2010

St. Joseph’s Mercy’s Stephanie Staggs

is now certified to perform Breast Sonograms

at the Mercy Women’s Center in Hot Springs.

St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Center’s Stephanie Staggs has received the prestigious certification in Breast Sonography from The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

Staggs is now one of the select mammography technicians in Arkansas who is certified in Breast Ultrasound.

“The knowledge that I gained in going through this process is invaluable,” Staggs said. “I guess that’s what sets me apart from most mammographers.”

Breast ultrasound is a procedure that may be used to determine whether a lump is a cyst (sac containing fluid) or a solid mass which could be cancer. Ultrasound can also be sued to precisely locate the position of a known tumor in order to guide the doctor during a biopsy or aspiration procedure. Ultrasound helps confirm correct needle placement.

Ultrasound testing forks by transmitting high-frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, through the breast. The sound waves bounce off surfaces in the breast (tissue, air, fluid) and these “echoes” are recorded and transformed into video or photographic images.

“Stephanie’s certification increases the skills mix to our staff and provides greater flexibility in scheduling breast ultrasound, thus providing increased patient satisfaction,” said Marsha Oliver, Operations Manager for the Mercy Women’s Center.

St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Center boasts the 20,000-square-foot Women’s Center of Excellence, the first in South Central Arkansas to offer the revolutionary imaging technology of the Selenia digital mammography system. It includes six obstetrician/gynecologists, the Mercy Pregnancy Care Clinic, a comprehensive breast center, resource library and educational classrooms.

In order to receive the certification Staggs had to perform 200 ultrasound breast exams and 10 interventional procedures. She also had to take a two-day course in Cincinnati, Ohio, and pass a certification exam.

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