SonoSite Products in Action: Immersive Training for Employees

November 21, 2016

Every year, roughly 30 FUJIFILM SonoSite employees are given the opportunity to observe our point-of-care ultrasound machines in action as we follow doctors and sonographers at several Los Angeles-area medical institutions, including Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Center, LA County Hospital, and Cedar Sinai. This is known as Immersion Training, and it takes place over three days approximately once a month. Usually, 3 employees attend Immersion at one time.

This valuable training has been offered to SonoSite employees since 2011.

In mid-October of this year, I was lucky enough to join two other FFSS employees at Immersion Training. 

LAC is famous for its trauma ward. In fact, there’s even a documentary about it called Code Black. We were able to visit the famous C-booth in the older section of the hospital, as well as the new Trauma bays in the new wing of LAC + USC.

During our time at LAC, we actually only saw one patient who qualified as an emergency. He had fallen off of a ladder while working and hit his head. There was some external bleeding, but he was conscious and responsive. The sonographer who was guiding us through the facility performed a FAST exam on the patient to assess potential internal bleeding, and found none. Many FUJIFILM SonoSite employees have seen much more harrowing incidents, but all of us leave Immersion with a greater appreciation for how our products are used in the real world.

Scott Hirschi is a senior engineering manager who has worked at SonoSite from the very beginning of the company’s founding. Brett Hagardt is a sales representative from British Columbia who recently joined FUJIFILM SonoSite. And I’m a Marketing Content Manager (and together, we fight crime—wait, no, sorry).

I asked Scott what he found most useful about Immersion Training. He told me that “there is no substitute for observing real-world patient scanning when it comes to discovering how to improve our products in meaningful ways for customers. I had several opportunities to observe how our products affect our customers’ experiences on a daily basis.”

Our SonoSite engineers and designers spend thousands of hours observing the use of ultrasound in real-time medical settings before designing a new machine. And even with all those hours, we can STILL find new ways to improve upon workflow or functionality during Immersion. Scott filed several software update requests based on our observations at LAC.

Brett was pleased to see that the SonoSite brand pillars well supported by our products in the field. “The day-in, day-out ease of use of our systems was especially evident—plunking a transducer down and having a useful image appear was satisfying. It was also great to know that customers had all of our online content available and found it useful."

Brett also felt that the Immersion Experience helped drive home SonoSite’s reasons for spending so much time designing and testing our machines before we release them: because SonoSite machines can make a difference in patient outcomes.

“Spending time with health care professionals gave me a new appreciation for how important each and every button press is to them, said Brett. “Having a dial just two or three centimeters out of reach can make all the difference in the world.”


Watch Code Black 

SonoSite teams up with physician Ryan McGarry in his vivid and thought-provoking filmmaking debut giving us unprecedented access to America's busiest Emergency Department. Amidst real life-and-death situations, McGarry follows a dedicated team of charismatic, young doctors-in-training as they wrestle openly with both their ideals and with the realities of saving lives in a complex and overburdened system. Their training ground and source of inspiration is "C-Booth," Los Angeles County Hospital's legendary trauma bay, the birthplace of Emergency Medicine, where "more people have died and more people have been saved than in any other square footage in the United States."