ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando college has permanently banned invasive vaginal procedures after two former students filed a lawsuit against the school.
The permanent ban, announced Tuesday, comes a week after Valencia College spokeswoman Carol Traynor said the school was reviewing the practice to ensure it was effective for learning. She added that the program upheld the highest standards.
Two former students in an ultrasound program said they were punished for objecting to a policy that encouraged students to undergo the invasive vaginal procedure to become better technicians.
The unnamed students filed a federal lawsuit last week against Valencia College.
The lawsuit stated that instructors told them the procedure was voluntary, but that students who refused were browbeaten and their academic standing was threatened.
In the procedure, a probe is inserted into the patient's vagina.
Valencia College President Sandy Shugart released a statement Tuesday about the ban.
"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."