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Valencia College – Transvaginal Ultrasound

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Just last week, Valencia College in Orlando announced that it would permanently eliminate a practice that, while commonly practiced in medical training fields, makes most people cringe when they hear about it: Asking students to volunteer to give other students a chance to practice invasive medical diagnostic testing so everyone gets some real-life experience with the procedure.

But when two female students attending school at Valencia sued because they claim they were told they’d face retribution if they didn’t volunteer to allow other students to practice transvaginal ultrasounds on them, the school quickly came under fire. The students say they were told that if they didn’t want to submit to having the internal ultrasounds performed on them as part of their course of study, they would have to leave the program or be “blacklisted” from working at local
hospitals. They claim they were also expected to disrobe and walk through a classroom full of people wrapped in towels and that they were subjected to inappropriate comments about their bodies during the procedures. Both of the women say they eventually quit the program over the situation.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court, asks for both monetary damages and for an injunction requiring the
school to make sure that it respects students’ wishes when it comes to volunteering for such activities. Although the school says that use of student volunteers is a nationally accepted practice in medical-training programs, it suddenly announced just last week what it would permanently discontinue doing
so.

According to college president Sandy Shugart, the school conducted an investigation of the allegations made in the lawsuit and even though it determined that the school administered the program professionally and only under voluntary circumstances, the school has “decided to permanently discontinue the use of student volunteers for transvaginal ultrasound scanning.”

 


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