Robin Van Schyndel
As a newly certified Diagnostic Sonographer struggling to find employment in a saturated job market, I decided my best option was to improve my employability by adding some specialty skills to my current ultrasound training. While the field of general ultrasound is currently saturated with new graduates, vascular and cardiac ultrasound is a growing field with a need for more technologists. I began by researching the career opportunities available and then researching education options. My search led me to CVIU.
As I compared the various Cardiac and Vascular Ultrasound schools that were available, I realized that CVIU was one of a few schools who offered cardiac and vascular training independent of general ultrasound. The fact that they offer a number of options for completion was a big draw; students can opt into a complete two year program, or choose a one year program in either cardiac or vascular ultrasound. There is also the option to pick up a short 3 month crossover program after the first year for additional training.
Another big plus is that the program is accredited so there is financial aid available; this is not the case with many of the hospital based programs available.
For me, deciding to attend CVIU meant moving myself and my family from Wisconsin to Alabama, a huge decision that was not popular with my children. Since we arrived in Alabama we have had many wonderful experiences! Southern Alabama is beautiful and has a lot to offer by way of entertainment. From the beaches of Gulf shores to the state parks and historical sites, we have found an abundance of activities to keep us entertained, even on a budget.
Attending CVIU has definitely been a learning experience. The material covered in the first semester is extensive, but designed to prepare each student for hands on clinical application of knowledge. CVIU has 5 different ultrasound systems, which is beneficial to the students; you don’t know what system you will be using in the field, so it is great to have some familiarity with a variety of systems. There are a variety of clinical sites as well, ranging from large hospitals to small clinics. My first clinical rotation included one of each, and I felt this gave me a very well rounded experience. The clinic offered me an abundance of scan time and one on one instruction from a very knowledgeable technologist. The hospital I trained at exposed me to a greater variety of pathology as well as invasive procedures.
Learning any new skill can be a challenging experience, and ultrasound is certainly no exception. When you attend CVIU you have a large number of resources available to aid you in the learning process. From a library of books, videos, and multimedia learning materials to instant access to knowledgeable instructors, everything you need to succeed is at your disposal.