Jennifer Kaittany | Diagnostic Medical Sonography Class of 2015
Jennifer was considering a career change when her sister, a graduate of radiation therapy program at The University of Texas MD Anderson School of Health Professions, told her about a new program being offered in diagnostic medical sonography. In the following Q&A, Jennifer, then a senior, shares insights into the program and her post-graduation plans.
Can you explain the science of diagnostic medical sonography?
“Sonographers use sound waves to produce quality diagnostic images for the radiologists. The radiologists send reports to the physician, enabling him or her to diagnose the patient based on the information in the report.”
Why did you choose this field of study?
“I was working in the lab industry but I knew I always wanted to be in the health industry. I had a colleague who worked as a sonographer, so I began to shadow her and my other colleagues in MRI, CT, etc. The ultrasound caught my eye and the individual I shadowed was very positive about the field and gave me a lot of insight.”
“Also, I am a people-person and I liked the fact that I would have direct contact with patients. It’s a good feeling that you're helping people.”
What are some advantages to SHP’s diagnostic medical sonography program?
“Our lab program is very in-depth. They take a lot of time to teach us in the lab, so when you go out into clinic, you’re not lost. Also, due to small class size and low teacher-student ratio, we receive more individualized attention and more interaction with the teachers.”
“The best experience is going to clinic where we rotate through different hospitals in the Texas Medical Center. You’re actually doing this knowing that this is what you’re going to be doing when you finish school. Every clinic experience has been wonderful as far as the teaching.”
“The school is part of The University of Texas and it’s connected to MD Anderson Cancer Center so that’s an advantage. Here, you earn a bachelor’s degree as opposed to an associate degree. It’s the only bachelor’s program in Texas.”
What are your plans after graduation?
“I plan to work in general ultrasound, but do not plan to specialize in one area for a few years. I definitely want to get more specialty certifications as I’m working. As I do that, I want to get my MBA and then move into an administrative role. After that, we’ll see.”
What are some interesting facts that people may not know about you?
“I’m originally from Kenya. I love to travel and try to return each year with my son, who is 11 years old. I speak five languages: English, Swahili, my mom’s language (Kikuyu), my dad’s language (Kalenjin), and a little French.”
What advice would you give someone considering applying to the program?
“Anyone interested would have to come in with an open mind and be willing to learn a lot. They have to learn a lot of anatomy. Be prepared to study a lot! Also, I recommend attending the information sessions and shadowing someone to see differences in the diagnostic imaging fields.”