Program: Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Technician
Graduation Date: 9/8/14
Jessica Mackin, age 24, always had her heart set on becoming a psychologist. Certain that was the career path for her, she attended Rider University as a psychology major for a year and a half, but sadly her time in school was cut short due to financial problems with loans.
Jessica was then forced to leave college and return home. Uncertain of what her next move would be, she found herself at a difficult crossroads, and needing to make an urgent decision about her future. Jessica knew she had to consider making a drastic change to her desired career path.
Her mother suggested she look into ultrasound training. “I did a lot of research when I got the idea to do ultrasound, and it was actually my mom who brought Healthcare Training Institute to my attention,” she says. “When I toured the school, I really liked the environment and the staff, so I decided to give it a shot.”
Jessica confessed she had many initial hesitations about starting a new career path, and she wasn’t even sure if she would even enjoy working in the medical field.
“When I first began the program, I didn’t know anybody or what to expect. I was anxious about the situation. But when I took my first class, Medical Terminology, I became interested in the subject matter. I learned then that I really liked the medical field just by taking a simple class.”
During her time at HTI, Jessica’s newfound interest in Ultrasound grew and she was able to develop her scanning ability and build up her confidence. As the curriculum progressed, she became more certain that ultrasound was the career she wanted to pursue.
“HTI was a great experience from day one. I learned so much from Dr. Mirza, my professor, and the rest of the staff was wonderful. As students you receive many lectures and lab training to prepare you for the outside world.”
Practical training is one of the most important aspects of any educational program as clinical experiences are most valuable in providing real-life lessons in scanning, and showing students the bigger picture of the ultrasound world. For her externship, Jessica was placed in the ultrasound department of Hackensack UMC.
“Initially, I felt a little overwhelmed and anxious about actually working in a hospital setting, as my only experience was the clinical practice we had while we were in school.” Jessica explains. “There was definitely a lot to learn but I was able to catch on quickly. I felt pretty prepared scanning and I asked many questions when necessary. The techs always helped me, and were willing to offer guidance and assistance. They were very supportive.” Jessica felt like she was a great fit for the facility. “Instantly I felt like I clicked, and I did everything in my power to be as hardworking and helpful as possible.”
Jessica successfully completed her 810 hours of externship at Mountain Side Hospital. The clinical internship portion of her ultrasound program was even more rewarding than she had expected—after she concluded her externship, Jessica was immediately offered a job.
“This has been the best experience of my life, because having an actual career can be life-changing. Now I’m actually working on my own and applying all the knowledge I learned every day. It’s challenging but I walk out of work every day learning something new.”
Jessica feels she received all the appropriate training necessary to thrive in the medical field at Healthcare Training Institute. “Dr. Mirza and Mike were helpful in teaching me how to scan properly, and assisted me with areas I had a problem with. Everyone was very helpful, that’s what made my experience successful.” Although Healthcare Training Institute did its part to train, prepare, and instruct Jessica, her personality, charisma and wonderful disposition contributed to her success.
“HTI was a great experience. As time goes on, it feels like my class and I remained a family. I still see all those friends, they made the experience very enjoyable.”
Completely switching your career path can be daunting, but for Jessica, it has paid off. She not only changed her “major” and her school, but she changed her life. Now, at 24 years old, she has a career that she loves and the satisfaction of knowing she’s found her true calling as an Ultrasound Technologist. “I love what I do,” Jessica says.
Jessica’s switch was a wise choice, if she had continued her previous career path she would still be in University, struggling to pay her loans and nowhere near completion of her studies. After a two year program at HTI she not only completed the course, finished her externship and is now gainfully employed.
“I am so happy where I am right now and I feel complete with the career I have. I am proud of myself for all my hard work I put in and I feel like I am living my future goals. In five or ten years I will have a lot more experience under my belt, but will certainly continue in the field that I am a part of,” Jessica explains. Her family and friends are extremely proud of her, as well as her new significant other. “I have a wonderful family, my mom and dad and my little brother are very proud of my accomplishments. I met my boyfriend at the hospital where I work, and we have been together for a year and a half. My life changed and I am very happy with the way things turned out.”
For Jessica, being a part of HTI was an amazing opportunity that allowed her to grow and find her true calling, and HTI is very proud of her dedication and achievements. Jessica is proof that hard work, dedication and passion for the medical field do pay off.