Today, Valencia College President Dr. Sandy Shugart announced that Valencia College will no longer use student volunteers to practice transvaginal ultrasounds. The school came under fire after two anonymous students filed a lawsuit
against the school alleging that they had been coerced into volunteering to allow fellow students to practice on them while they were enrolled in the school's sonography program.
Shugart's complete statement is below:
“As part of our mission to offer excellence in academic and technical learning, Valencia College administers a respected and successful diagnostic medical sonography program that helps meet our community’s need for well-trained medical professionals. This includes providing our students with opportunities to learn and practice their skills in discreet and supervised laboratory settings, including voluntary participation in transvaginal ultrasound scans.
“I assure you, at Valencia College, demonstrating our respect for and commitment to students is paramount, so last summer when we received a student complaint about participating in voluntary transvaginal ultrasound scans, we suspended the practice and commissioned a review by an independent third-party expert. The review verified that Valencia administered the program safely, professionally, and respectfully while maintaining the private and voluntary nature of student participation. Following a comprehensive external investigation and a thorough internal review, we identified teaching methods that employ sophisticated simulators and have decided to permanently discontinue the use of student volunteers for transvaginal ultrasound scanning. As part of our commitment to creating and nurturing a caring, inclusive and safe environment that improves student preparedness for professional success, Valencia will continue to review and evaluate all of our educational programs on a frequent basis.”