Regional DMS Program Director Deborah Szigeti presents at IFSER Educator’s Summit
July 29, 2018, All locations – Debbie Szigeti has always identified herself as a teacher. She taught 4th grade in New Jersey for years, until budget cuts eliminated her position. Looking for a new career, she chose diagnostic medical sonography (DMS).
“My oldest son contracted viral hepatitis when he was 7,” she recalls. “That’s when I realized ultrasound is used for so much more than babies.”
After completing the DMS program in 2011, she earned registries in Abdomen, OB/GYN, Breast, Pediatrics and RVT, in addition to her BS in Education and BA in Organizational Management. She worked in clinics in Philadelphia and Charleston, SC, before the itch to teach returned.
In 2014, Debbie started teaching DMS for AI online as part of the faculty and has taught all the DMS courses. She is now Director of Education and Regional DMS Director, and uses her teaching skills to train other DMS educators worldwide.
She recently presented at the annual International Foundation for Sonography Education and Research (IFSER) Educator’s Summit. “I was asked to share innovative ways to teach ultrasound skills – such as scanning a fish in a plastic bag to simulate scanning a fetus in utero. Both of them NEVER stop moving!”
Other ideas she shared include hanging a sheet between the student and the patient to conduct “blind” scans, drawing veins on living “cadavers” with dry erase markers, and creating “pathologies” to scan using readily available materials like gelatin and blueberries.
Her teaching philosophy is inspired by Benjamin Franklin, who said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
Debbie believes making presentations for organizations like IFSER helps to enhance the reputation of American Institute and its DMS program. “Many of the educators I meet are surprised at the number of students we have in our program,” she says. “When I leave these events, I bring new information back to our instructors and students. It is a great way to network and learn about others’ experiences with accreditation, share ideas on what works and what doesn’t, and develop my skills as an educator and a director to be better for our AI family.”
While her career has taken turns she never would have predicted, Debbie credits her success to American Institute.
“Scanning, teaching, presenting, authoring three articles for professional journals – all of my success is a result of me taking that one step and coming to AI,” she says. “AI gave me the tools I needed to follow my dreams – and it will do the same for anyone who takes that first step.”