Our Class came together as strangers to one another, and we leave as friends and colleagues. Only a small number of students were chosen to start the program. Patience was tested, academic strength strained, and our ability to reach deep within ourselves and prevail is evident as we all sit on this stage tonight. It’s hard to believe that only two years ago we started the long, tumultuous quest to become a Sonographer. We all came here with the same goal: to better ourselves, to better society, and to help patients. We sacrificed time being with our families and significant others. We missed soccer games, nights out with friends and vacations so that we could become the best Sonographers, the best students that we could be. For this was no easy feat. We had many obstacles to overcome on our journey, such as Obstetrics and Gynecology tests, utilizing a coloring book as part of Abdomen I and II homework, Statistics, and wearing white clinical uniform pants. (Out of those, I can’t tell you for sure which was worse, but my vote goes for the wearing of the white pants).
For some of us, this is our first career. I thought about what was important to me in life: compassion towards others and giving back to the world what you take from it. I happened upon Sonography and immediately fell in love with what I read about it. After countless weeks of deliberation, I decided to take the plunge and apply to school. I had no idea what I was in for, and I learned quickly.
First I had to deal with the General Education requirements. With the help of the school staff, I was able to take the courses I needed. Once the General Education phase was complete, I dove into the deep end of the deep and scary ULTRASOUND POOL.
I knew from the first day of class that the next 20 months were going to be intense. During that time we memorized and learned every part of every organ and vessel in the human body and their function and how to scan it. We stressed over Physics tests and the SPI exam. We read countless chapters and took countless tests, midterms and finals. There were late nights, early mornings and numerous mental breakdowns. I used to get so angry when people would ask; ‘Oh, so you just take pictures of unborn babies?’ because that is only a small fraction of what this field is all about. This field is so vital to saving lives that one mistake, one missed image, could be costly to a human life.
And class was just the half of it. When clinical started, I quickly realized that there is more to a Sonographer than just taking images.
You hold the hand of a breast cancer survivor as she undergoes a biopsy. You calm the nerves of the first time mother as she waits in agony to learn if her unborn baby has a heartbeat. You put the elderly man at ease as you help determine why he had a stroke.
I remember my first encounter with a patient who was in need, and it was the first time that I felt emotional during clinical. I connected with a patient who was near death, and yes, I cried. The drive home was agonizing, and I even thought of quitting. But I decided that I had to be that person who ran toward people in need, not run away. This is what healthcare is all about, answering the call.
This, to me, is what life is all about. In a world where there is tragedy and despair on the front page of your newspaper every day, this field, and all of you sitting up here tonight, gives me hope and inspiration.
The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, and to have it make some difference that you have lived at all. ~Leo Rosten
I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again. ~William Penn
My classmates and I started this career with the same goal, to better ourselves, better society, and to help others.
And, I believe… MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!