Helpful Advice On How To Be A Successful Ultrasound Student & Sonographer
We interviewed a graduate of our ultrasound program, Georgette Campbell about her experience at Healthcare Training Institute. Now an experienced scanner, Georgette offered some great advice for potential students and those thinking about a career in the field of ultrasound!
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Technology program at the Healthcare Training Institute?
“I originally wanted to do criminal justice, but my mom didn’t like the idea. She is a nurse and wanted me to go in the same direction as her. I knew nursing wasn’t really for me, so I did some research and became interested in ultrasound as a career. When I started my first medical terminology class at HTI, I realized then that I was truly interested in the field.”
Q: Was there a moment when you realized, ‘Wow, this is the career for me’?
“The moment when the ‘wow’ came into effect was when I scanned my first pregnancy. I was able to tell the sex of the baby, and I was able to tell the measurements, size, and due date. I realized then that this was really something I wanted to do.”
Q: What qualities do successful ultrasound techs possess?
“Attention to detail is critical. You are the eyes and the ears of the radiologist, the doctor who reads the studies you do. They don’t see the patients, so you have to be 100% accurate and know what you’re looking at. Doctors rely on you to give them the most accurate information, and distinguish between cysts and fluid, and cancer and lymph nodes. It’s all about attention to detail. You must also be able to follow directions, and provide doctors with the specific scans they’re requesting. It’s important to be skilled with technology as well—the school you attend may have modern machines, but you’ll need to learn on older ones as well. You’ll have to learn how to adjust or fix different types of machines to give you better picture qualify.
Your attitude, your energy, and your willingness to learn is also important. When you go on externship, you will meet people with 10-15 more years of experience, and they will offer ways of getting information easier, scanning better, and give you ideas on how to improve. The more you know, the better you become.”
Q: Do you have any tips for success for life after graduation?
“You may find a job that you love, but remember to always keep learning and keep moving forward. If you’re registered in GYN or vascular, you may want to pursue other areas of ultrasound and keep expanding your knowledge in the field. Never stop learning, and always keep studying.”
Q: Did the Ultrasound program at Healthcare Training Institute prepare you for your career?
“The program at HTI is amazing. We learned everything and more. The teachers, especially Dr. Nino went above and beyond for her students. She saw potential in everyone and was always willing to stay after class to answer questions. I had a panic attack about learning physics, but she stayed with me after class, for days and days until I grasped it. I am very thankful to her for her patience.
The ultrasound program is 2 years long, and pretty intense. There is a lot to learn before you go on externship. I saw so much while I was in school and gained important experience that prepared me well for the field, including birth defects such as gastroschisis, brain cysts, cases with low amniotic fluid, and more. I scanned more than 60 patients. That experience really prepared me to enter the field. School was definitely challenging but it was the best 2 years of my life.
Now I’m working in an OBGYN setting, and it’s my dream. I’ve always wanted to work with pregnant women, that’s where my passion is. I love it. Now I scan 30-40 people a day!”
Q: Do you have any final tips for success for prospective students who want to succeed in a diagnostic medical sonography program?
“Be dedicated, come to school with an eagerness to learn. For new students coming in, the more you come to lab, the better scanner you become. I was a day student, but I stayed at the school till evening classes, and kept going back to the lab and practicing my scanning skills. I wanted to be the best scanner the school ever had, and I wanted to be the best in my class.”
Georgette shared with us one of her favorite quotes:
“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Hard work, and the desire to learn and continuously improve, combined with a positive attitude will take you far! We are very proud of Georgette’s accomplishments and wish her continued success on her career journey.
Learn more about our Ultrasound tech program in NJ here.