2017, Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Argosy University, Twin Cities
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer at University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery
“My education led me to a position where I practice the exact education I just [completed]. That information alone is extremely important to future students. I learned what it would take to do my job. Now, I get to go do it every day and enjoy it.”
Began College Right out of High School, Completed Degree in Five Semesters and 6-Month Internship
Karina Anderson knew her career goals from an early age. She took advantage of post-secondary education opportunities while still in high school, then began her college education immediately after high school graduation. “I finished a handful of general classes [that fulfilled] prerequisites for the Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at Argosy University, Twin Cities,” she said. Those credits transferred successfully, giving her a head start on her studies.
She completed her degree after five semesters of classroom work and a six-month internship. “As my internship was ending, there was an opening at the University of Minnesota’s Breast Center as a sonographer. The strong relationships created during my internship helped me to get an interview for—and land—the job.”
She currently works at the University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center. “Without the Argosy staff, Chelsey Twait from my cohort at Argosy and the contacts made in my internships I could not be where I am today,” she added. “It was challenging transitioning from general body ultrasound to breast ultrasound. Every workplace is different—especially going from a hospital to clinic—so getting a taste of it all is the most important part.”
Anderson mentioned that the transition from high school to college was comfortable. She was used to large high school classes and enjoyed the small class sizes at Argosy University. “One major transitional difference from high school to college was the independence,” she said. “Throughout your time in college you truly determine your success or future. The amount of time you put into each assignment or studying for a test will impact your success in college.’
She added that students beginning college directly after high school should keep an open mind and investigate programs that are new to them. “I’d never gotten an ultrasound in my life but saw that the school offered a program that included an internship,” she said. “An internship-driven school will provide real-world experience in you desired career. That alone can put you above any other applicant applying for the same position.”
Anderson appreciated the support received as she worked toward her degree. “Faculty helped me personally by just being available,” she stated. “The academic staff was always there to answer questions and calm nerves about clinical training. My instructors were sonographers with life experiences specific to ultrasound. The school also provided ultrasound machines for cohorts to practice on and provided a solid foundation when it came to knowledge of pathology, anatomy, medical ethics and of course scanning.”
She works alongside mammogram technologists and an ultrasound tech. “The Breast Center takes the time to do diagnostic work-ups and procedures,” she said. “That’s where I come into the picture. We follow up mammograms with ultrasounds that may show suspicious areas that could represent a mass, calcifications or spiculations.” She performs ultrasounds after reviewing a mammogram with the radiologist, then provides the radiologist with the new images. “If it came time to biopsy, we assist with the procedure. If the patient is awaiting surgery, we perform a wire localization guided by ultrasound. Some people believe that working in a Breast Center limits you, but I interact with the radiologist and assist in procedures.”
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