Diagnostic Medical Sonography Student Program Handbook

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DIAGNOSTIC MEDICAL SONOGRAPHYSTUDENT PROGRAM HANDBOOKPolicies and ProceduresCoordinate With:DMS Clinical Evaluation Handbook&DMS Clinical Experience FormsRevised 11/13; 7/ 2015; 11/2016; 11/2018, 12/20i

Order of ContentsOverviewProjected Class ationScholarship Criteria & InformationV.Student Rights and Grievances (Administrative Procedure 5530)VII.Financial ExpendituresVI.RecordsVIII.General PoliciesX.Clinical AssignmentsXII.Student Orientation to Clinical FacilitiesIX.XI.Insurance, Accidents, and IncidentsStudent Dress and Grooming for Clinical EducationXIII.Clinical ExperienceXV.Pregnancy Policy and ProceduresXIV.XVI.Clinical Radiation Protection RulesStudent SupervisionXVII. Personnel DescriptionsXVIII. Professionalism, Job DescriptionXIX.Patient Safety and Risk ManagementXXI. Equipment Safety and MaintenanceXXII. Technical ProtocolsXXII. ErgonomicsXVIII. AppendicesA.Academic Honesty ProcedureB.Conduct Code ViolationsC.COVID-19ii


Overview of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography ProgramThe Sonography Program is a full-time, allied vocational health program located inthe agricultural community of Merced, California. Here, from the Allied HealthParking lot at Merced College, is our nearest clinical affiliate, Dignity Health MercyHospital.provideThe purpose of the program is todidacticeducationandpracticalinmedicalexperience as preparation for employment asanentry-levelimaging facility.sonographeraThe program is divided into two components: (a) didactic with laboratory, and (b)clinical education.Graduates of the program are awarded a Certificate ofAchievement in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, and are eligible to sit for the SPI,ABD, and OB-GYN American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography boardexaminations.The didactic portion of the program facilitates learning in “General Sonography,”with a focus on the following areas: Abdomen, Superficial Structures (Small Parts)now known as Abdominal Sonography-Extended, and Obstetrics and Gynecology(OB-GYN) this is also known as gravid and non-gravid female pelvis, and anintroduction to vascular technology.The basic on-campus scanning proceduresrequired are included within this handbook. Specific scanning procedures for eachclinical site are beyond the scope of this document.Clinical education begins during the second semester and continues for three (3)semesters and one (1) summer term. Weekly clinical hours: atotal of 1710clinical hours are completed during threesemesters and one summer term. Specific monthly scheduleshave been created to allow for students to enjoy all collegeidentified holidays, and to be eligible to sit for boardexaminations through the American Registry for DiagnosticMedical Sonography (ARDMS) during the final semester. Allclinical hours must be completed to be eligible for graduation. Whenever possible,each student will complete three (3) unique clinical experience rotations, to include1

at least one at a medical center/hospital. The original design provided for four (4)rotations. Following advice from the Sonographic Advisory Board, the summer andfall terms have been combined to generate a better learning opportunity, albeit thestudents receive independent grades for each of the terms.Students will earnorgan-specific scanning competencies during these clinical rotations.School Facilities include dedicated sonographic lecture room and laboratory.Theclassroom has tables and chairs, rather than traditionalstudent desks.Audio/visual equipment includes a PC,mounted overhead projector, and sound system in bothrooms.The scanning laboratory is equipped with threeultrasound systems.The laboratory is equipped with threestate-of-the technology imaging systems.Each system isfrom an independent vendor which prepares students to applyphysical principles knowledge in a variety of clinical facilities.The three scanning systems include: A Samsung unit with panoramic imaging, 3-Dendovaginal probe, and multiple sonographic programs for abdomen, superficialstructures, OB-GYN, vascular, and echocardiography examinations.modern GE system was installed in January of 2017, and in JulyAnother2018 a Mindray system completed the trio. Each scanning systemhas multiple transducers. When combined, advanced imagingtechnology includes elastography, 3-D, 4-D, panoramic, andDoppler applications.Each scanning station is equipped withergonomic scanning tables and chairs, patient positioning tools,thermographic printers, and gel warmers.New for 2020:SonoSim Training System that features 24/7 access to 65courses with knowledge assessment, hands-on simulation,and performance nds-onEach sonography student hastheprogram.simulationisavailable during the second semester. Students’ use their personalcomputer, laptop, or smart phone to access the entire complementof sonographic scanning applications available from the SonoSimsystem. The program believes that actual real time scanning using2

breathing individuals is the best approach for initial scanning skill development.However, the class of 2020 found that the SonoSim Training System wasexceedingly beneficial in strengthening skillsets when laboratory course time, andsome clinical rotations were canceled due to the COVID Pandemic. Each studenthas an assigned individual simulation packet.The sonography suite houses multiple sophisticated scanningphantoms for structures that cannot be readily scanned on acollege campus.These include three second trimester OBphantoms, a breast phantom, a scrotal phantom, and threeendocavitary pelvic capable of transabdominal applicationseach with different female pathology including a mock ectopicpregnancy, Other phantoms include a full adult abdomen andthorax with a variety of pathologies, a full pediatric abdomenand thorax with pediatric specific abnormalities, a pediatric hipphantom, and two neonatal brain units.These phantoms may be scanned usingthe technologically advanced imaging systems, or the students may use one of theeight I-Pad/SonoStar wireless scanning systems. Each IPad is partnered with either a curvilinear or linearSonoStar probe. The ultrasound laboratory houses severalsonographic textbooks and study aids, and a vastcollection of SDMS and AIUM journals.The allied health building provides a computer laboratory available for scheduledclasses and open study. The campus library is found in the heart of the campusand maintains ultrasound books and reference materials including CD-DVD.Individual study rooms and personal computers are available.To maintain continued programmatic eligibility:the student must complete alldidactic, laboratory and clinical experience courses sequentially to progress throughthe program.3

Students complete courses in:Ultrasound Physics & Instrumentation (SONO40,40L, and 44A), Abdominal and Superficial Structure Applications (SONO 41, 41L,42A, 42L, 44C, 44CL), OB-GYN (SONO43A, 43L), Introduction to Vascular(SONO45C, 45CL), Integrative Applications (SONO 45A), and Clinical Experience(SONO 42B, 43B, 44B, 45B).Diagnostic Medical Sonography ProgramProjected Class ScheduleSemesterFall18 weeksSpring18 weeksCourse8 weeksFall18 weeksSpring18 weeksTuesdaySONO 40 (lecture)9-9:50 amSONO 40L (lab)10-11:15 amWednesdayThursdaySONO 41 (lecture)9-9:50 amSONO 41L (lab)10-11:15 amSONO 42A8-10:50 amSONO 42L (lab)12-3:00 pm(Lecture)SONO 42B (clinic)SummerMonday 32 hours/week4 days/8 hoursSONO 44A (lecture)8-11:10 amSONO 44C (lecture)12-12:50 pmSONO 44CL (lab)1-4:15 pmSONO 44B (clinic) 32 hours/week4 days/ 8 hoursSONO 43A (lecture)8-11:00 amSONO 43AL (lab)12-3:00 pmSONO 43B (clinic) 32 hours each week4 days @ 8 hoursSONO 45A (lecture)12-1:50 pmSONO 45C (Lecture)8-9:15 amSONO 45CL (lab)10-11:15 amSONO 45B (clinic)Friday 32hours each week4 days @ 8 hoursTotal of 1710 clinical hoursDisclaimer: The DMS program reserves the right to revise class schedules at any time. This schedule is to be used for generalreference only. During COVID-19 lectures and some labs were delivered via: hybrid and distance delivery. Most courses remainedsynchronous, but when required, asynchronous delivery was implemented.Revised 11/2018, 12/204

I.IntroductionA.WelcomeWelcome to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program! As the Director, it is my pleasureto congratulate you on your acceptance to the program, and to wish you success in yournewly chosen health career.As a student in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program, you represent Merced Collegeand the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.The highest ethical and professionalstandards of conduct will be always expected of you. You are responsible for learning thematerial (reading; studying; practicing in open lab; attending class, lab, and clinic; anddeveloping the skills and behaviors of a sonographer); time management, professionalbehavior, and enjoying every aspect of personal development in this exciting career.The Program Director directs and facilitates the educational experience/program with thedesired final outcomes: the privilege for you to write RDMS (Registered Diagnostic MedicalSonographer) after your name, and to become an erudite sonographer.The Clinical Coordinator assists the program director in the creation of an excellent learningopportunity, by spending time in the ultrasound laboratory portion of each course, facilitatinglectures, and coordinating/participating in the clinical experiences.Clinical Supervisor(s) are adjunct faculty who may teach a course, assist in the laboratorycomponent, and/or provide clinical site visitations/assessments.The program consists of five terms---four as a full-time student.The Sonography Program is rigorous and fast-paced.Thecurriculum is comprised of lecture, collaboration, laboratory, libraryresearch, homework, individual and group projects, diagnostic-qualitysonographic image generation, portfolio creation, and practical clinicalexperience.Professorially directed laboratory sections are held oncampus in the Sonography Scanning Suite by means of hands-onlive scanning, and simulation.Clinical practicum consists of three (3) rotations at our affiliated hospitals and clinics underthe guidance and direction of credentialed sonographers, hospital/clinical managers, and5

board-certified Radiologists/Sonologists.Historically, four rotations were provided.Withyour cohort, the summer term and fall semester have been combined to create a morecomprehensive and empowering experience. The clinical component requires 100% clinicalattendance. Success in the clinical arena requires excellent patient care and communicationskills, your ability to function as a team member, sonographic performance, and professionalinteraction with our clinical personnel.Your total commitment to the program is the keyfactor to your successful completion of the program and becoming a knowledgeable anddesirable sonographer. The secret to success in the clinical arena is to consider the clinicalexperience as a full-time interview.B.Purpose of HandbookThis handbook is designed to serve as an informational guide to assist in the orientation ofnew students and to clarify policies and procedures governing your actions and practiceswhile a student in the program. This handbook is designed to be utilized as a supplementto the Merced College Catalog, the Clinical Handbook, and the accompanying ClinicalExperience Forms.information.It is expected that the students will be familiar with the followingStudents are expected to comply with the policies and procedures containedwithin this handbook throughout their educational experience.Whenever possible, data from the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS), theAmerican Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), the American Registry for DiagnosticMedical Sonography (ARDMS), and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists(ARRT) has been included. Document inclusion consists of data approved for reprinting orincludes reference documentation. Students are encouraged to become student members inthe SDMS, and/or AIUM.The DMS student should read this document completely and carefully, and to place in anaccessible location for future reference. A digital version will be found in the Canvas Shellfor each clinical experience course. Each clinical site has a hardcopy version of thishandbook, the program clinical handbook reference, and the clinical forms packet.Theclinical facilities receive a digital version of the clinical handbook and related forms.Thisdocument will serve as your primary programmatic and clinical experience reference toolthroughout your educational experience.Please contact the Program Director, or ClinicalCoordinator for clarification or additional information.6

C.Merced College PhilosophyA democratic society functions best when its members are educated and active participants.To encourage this participation, Merced College provides education opportunity for all whoqualify and can benefit. This education involves having a respect for, and awareness of, allcultures, as well as the dignity and worth of all individuals. Merced College is dedicated tothe pursuit of excellence. The leadership and educational services provided by the Collegereflect and enhance the cultural, economic, and social life of the community and respond toits changing needs and interests.Recognizing that learning is a life-long process, theCollege provides preparation for a complex and changing society while maintaining highacademic standards.The College also fosters individual learning and critical thinking toenhance awareness of the inter-relationship and inter-dependence of all persons.Mission StatementGrowing our community through education and workforce training: Lifelong learning Basic skills Career technical education Transfer Degree/certificate programsEnsuring student success through equitable access, continuous quality improvement,institutional effectiveness, and student achievement.Vision StatementMerced College will provide transformative and empowering educational experiences to meetstudent and community needs.Core ValuesStudent SuccessPartneringSupportive ts are our focus at Merced College. We set high standards to encourage students toreach their highest potential in a supportive environment.Diversity is a strength of ourinstitution. Merced College is a leader in instruction and cultural activities. We value andrespect all members of our community. We are known by the success of our students.7

D.Sonography Program PhilosophyWe believe that all people have the right to safe and competent medical care. We furtherbelieve that students have a right and a responsibility to learn and faculty have an obligationto ensure a curriculum that prepares students to practice in the professional discipline. Toensure this outcome, we provide an educational training program dedicated to the pursuit ofexcellence.MissionThe mission of the Sonography Program is to provide relevant education in the cognitive,psychomotor, and affective learning domains to prepare competent, and responsible entrylevel general sonographers, with a commitment to life-long learning.Entrance Requirements/Requirements for application: Completion of a two-yearAllied Health Program that is patientcare related, such as Radiologic Technology, RegisteredNursing, Physical Therapy, or Nuclear Medicine Technology.Persons possessing abachelor’s degree, ideally in a biology type program, are also eligible for application. BSdegree applicants must complete 500 documented hospital-based patient-care skills hoursin lieu of the clinical hours related to the above careers.Prospective BA/BS degreed students, with no professionally licensed healthcarebackground, are encouraged to complete a CNA program and sit for the certification. Otheroptions, completion of EMT or Paramedic training, working as a patient transporter in ahospital imaging department.Course pre-requisites:BIOL-16 Anatomy, BIOL-18 Physiology, MATH-26 CollegeAlgebra, ALLH-67 Medical Terminology, and PHYS-10 or RADT-40 General Physics orRadiographic Physics.Entrance Application and FormsThe sonography application is found at the sonography link to the allied health website.Prospective students may print and complete during the open enrollment time frame.happens every two years.ThisComplete applications will have an assigned submission timeframe posted on the website.The students selected into the DMS program will receive related programmatic forms andinformation directing them to the locations for background screens and drug checks.8

GoalsIn support of this Mission, the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program will: uphold standards for satisfactory educational preparation for entry-level workexperience provide a curriculum which, supports and accesses the knowledge and skillsrequired to intelligently perform entry-level tasks to practice the profession encourage students to developoeffective communication skillsocritical thinking and problem-solving skillsocommitment to life-long professional learningadvocate and expect ethical and compassionate treatment of patientsSLOs (Student Learning Outcomes)Upon completion of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program, students will be able to:1.Describe the acoustic parameters of sound waves2.Relate accurate medical terminology3.Prioritize patient transfer, immobilization techniques, and safety precautions4.Recommend methods to assure patient privacy5.Recognize patient clinical history, which may impact the sonographic exam6.Design individualized patient assessment plans7.Calculate geometric measurements of anatomic structures8.Evaluate sonographic images for optimal acoustic resolution9.Select the appropriate sonographic instrumentation, while maintaining ALARA10.Correlate clinical indications and laboratory values11.Create diagnostic sonographic exams using recognized scanning parameters12.Evaluate anatomic structures on sonographic images13.Assess sonographic images for specific pathologies14.Describe sonographic pathologies and sequelae relative to specific diseases15.Differentiate normal and abnormal sonographic appearances16.Select correct ergonomic devices and techniques17.Compile effective data acquisition for submission to the interpreting physician18.Describe the importance for sonographic quality assurance programs19.Compare and contrast emerging sonographic techniques20.Analyze academic strengths and weaknesses to determine corrective measuresrequired to successfully pass a pre-registry written examination21.Evaluate prospective employment opportunities9

E.ObjectivesThe Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program faculty believe that the philosophy of theprogram can be fulfilled through providing a curriculum that encompasses all the areasrequired to prepare students to practice in the professional discipline. Since sonography isa practice discipline, the objectives will reflect the scanning areas in which a graduatesonographer will be competent.The objectives reflect those areas included in thecurriculum content as stated in the Standards and Guidelines for Diagnostic MedicalSonography from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs(CAAHEP) in conjunction with the Joint Review Committee on Education in DiagnosticMedical Sonography (JRCDMS).At the completion of the Program, the student will beprepared to practice in the professional discipline because, at a minimum, they arecompetent in the following areas:1.Oral and written communication2.Provide basic patient care and comfort3.Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of human gross anatomy andsectional anatomy4.Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physiology, pathology, andpathophysiology5.Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of acoustic physics, Dopplerultrasound principles, and ultrasound instrumentation6.Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the interaction betweenultrasound and tissue and the probability of biological effects in clinicalexaminations including:a.Biologic effectsb.Pertinent in-vitro and in-vivo studiesc.Exposure display indicesd.Generally accepted maximum safe exposure levelse.ALARA principle7.Employ professional judgment and discretion8.Understand the fundamental elements for implementing a quality assurance andImprovement program, and the policies, procedures for the general function ofthe ultrasound laboratory, includinga.Administrative proceduresb.Quality control proceduresc.Elements of quality assurance programd.Records maintenancee.Personnel and fiscal management10

f.9.Trends in health care systemsRecognize the importance of continuing educationa. Life-long learning and continuing education are achieved by various methods.1. Pursuing advanced college degree(s): brick & mortar, or online degreecompletion programs2. Membership with SDMS, AIUM, SVT, ASRT, and other professionalsocieties.3. Attending national meetings4. Participating in state, regional, or local meetings or workshops5. Completing directed learning activities via on-line or journal readingsfrom above or other societies.6. Sitting on sonography advisory boards, or volunteering with ultrasoundeducational programs.10.Recognize the importance of, and employ, ergonomically correct scanningtechniques and patient manipulation11.Demonstrate the ability to perform sonographic examinations of the abdomen,superficial structures, non-cardiac chest, and the gravid and non-gravid pelvisaccording to protocol guidelines established by national professionalorganizations and the protocol of the employing institution utilizing real-timeequipment with both transabdominal and endocavitary transducers, and Dopplerdisplay modes.II.AccreditationA.Merced CollegeMerced College is approved by the Chancellor of the California Community Collegesand Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, WesternAssociation of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC-WASCO). It meets all standards ofthe California State Department of Education and is listed in the EducationDirectory, Higher Education, published by the United States Office of Education.The University of California and other colleges and universities of high rank give fullcredit for appropriate courses completed at Merced College.B.Diagnostic Medical Sonography ProgramThe Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program, which leads to eligibility to write theSPI, AB, and OB-GYN sonography examinations by the American Registry forDiagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).The Merced College DMS General11

Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied HealthEducation Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the JointReview Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. program isaccredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic MedicalSonography.*JRC-DMS: Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic MedicalSonography, 6021 University Boulevard, Suite 500, Ellicott City, MD21043; www.jrcdms.org**CAAHEP: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health EducationPrograms, 9355 113th Street N. #7709, Seminole, FL ents must be enrolled in all SONO classes by the first day of thesemester/session to attend class or a clinic assignment. A student may not start aclinic assignment without being officially enrolled in that specific course as thestudent would not be covered by malpractice insurance. The student must have avalid CPR card prior to attending any clinical experience rotations. Any missedclinical time due to non-enrollment shall be made up according to the make-uppolicy.B.AttendanceRegular attendance and consistent study are the two factors which contribute mostto success in college.Due to the rigor and accelerated aspect of the DiagnosticMedical Sonography Program, DMS students are expected to attend all courselectures, laboratories, and clinical hours.On-campus didactic hours (lecture and laboratory): Generally, students will attenddidactic sessions one day each week, except for the first semester when studentsmeet on campus Tuesdays and Thursdays. The remaining semesters will meet onWednesdays, and during the summer term, classes are held on Tuesdays orWednesdays.12

Clinical hours are accrued weekly beginning on Monday of each week. During thesemester’s students complete 28-32 hours each week at their assigned clinicalfacility, and during the summer 32 hours each week are completed. Students areto make-up missed hours due to illness; however, students are not to bank hoursfor personal or compensatory time off.Clinical experience attendance iscoordinated with the Clinical Instructor/Proctor, usually the Ultrasound Lead. Hoursmay begin at 6 am and may end at 9 pm any day of the week. Students must bealways supervised during the clinical rotation by a credentialed sonographer.Students are excused from the clinical experience during recognized collegeholidays. For students who have coordinated fewer days with more hours holidaysare accrued at a maximum of 8 hours each depending on the term/semester.The only excused absence is for illness of the student or death in the immediatefamily. A student may be dropped from the program for more than three days ofun-excused absences.After 3 days of consecutive absences from class and/orclinic, either a doctor’s excuse or proof of death of an immediate family memberwill be required to be submitted to the instructor(s) of record.If a student isdropped from lecture class, they will be dropped from the corresponding clinicalpractice and vice versa, and from the DMS program.Absence in no way relieves the student's responsibility for material or hours missedin class and/or clinic. Arrangements must be made with the instructor of record forany lecture/lab classes missed and/or the Clinical Preceptor for any clinicaleducation missed for "make-up" time.The student must notify their instructor of an absence before the scheduled classtime by calling their instructor directly or call the Allied Health Office (209.384.6309)and ask the AH secretary to convey the students’ absence to the appropriateinstructor(s). The student must notify the College AND the Clinical Preceptorand/or Department Manager of an absence one-half hour before the scheduledclinical assignment.Document the name of the person you communicated yourabsence and the time, if the message is not properly conveyed.Following theabsence, the student will submit an email to the DMS program director identifyingthe date(s) of the absence, reason for the absence, and a statement addressingthe mechanism by which the clinical hours will be made up. All missed hours mustbe completed during that rotation; students cannot accrue more than 40 hours ofcombined didactic and clinical experience in one week. This document will become13

part of your personal file.Bear in mind that the program director keeps track ofyour programmatic hours.Prolonged illness (more than two days) or injury requiring absence from the clinicwarrants a doctor's release to return to the clinic.The student is required tocomplete all clinical hours assigned to that clinical education course.This isnecessary because a student's presence is critical for successful performance andapplication of knowledge, and a requirement for board examination.After the first week of any lecture/lab course, students who arrive late or leaveclass early will be regarded as tardy. Students who are late or leave clinic earlywill deduct the time missed from the day's hourly total. Habitual tardiness will notbe tolerated and can be cause for dismissal. Clinical sites view tardiness as pooremployment readiness.Failure to attend a laboratory practical examination will result in an automatic zerofor that examination.Students are permitted one “redo” practical examination perterm. Both scores will be averaged for the final grade.Students are advised to schedule medical, dental, and other appointments outsideclinical and/or classroom hours to avoid a penalty.Students with children are advised to have contingency arrangements made forchild-care in case of illness or other unforeseen circumstances. Students are notallowed to bring their children, sick or otherwise, to class.For clarification:Students may not bring children to class.C.Excessive Absences or TardinessExcessive absences in school or clinic will not be tolerated. Students are requiredto be punctual for both didactic and clinical training. A student will be issued aRemediation Plan if either the clinical personnel or faculty feel that actions shouldbe taken to address this issue1.Students who are late reporting to their clinical site will be warned onceverbally. The second time they are tardy to the clinical site the student mustcall and leave a message with the program secretary.The third time thestudent is put on probation, and this may lead to program dismissal.Someclinical sites have a zero tolerance for tardiness and absenteeism.14

2. Students are expected to be in the classroom before the start of class.Students who are more than ten minutes late for class may be asked to leave.Homework assignments will be considered late after the start of a particularclass session and will not be recognized.3. Quizzes or exams are not lengthened for students who are tardy.D.HolidaysAll students will follow the approved Merced College Calendar concerning legalholidays and spring break for classroom and clinical education. As such, studentsare not required to attend clinic on legal holidays or breaks recognized by theCollege.However, all required clinical hours must be completed, and may usethese days to make-up sick time.E.VacationAs an internship is not part of the DMS course of study, students will not beprovided with clinical vacation days.Vacations should be scheduled only duringtimes when classes, including clinical, are not in session.I.E.:Spring or winterbreaks. D

within this handbook throughout their educational experience. Whenever possible, data from the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS), the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) has been included.

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