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SonographerOutpatient Diagnostic Center, Mansfield, Texas
“As my youngest son prepared to graduate high school, I began to think about a second career – something in the health-care field that would have flexible hours and good compensation. I also wanted a skill that was in high demand. After researching on the Internet, I became interested in the sonography program at El Centro. Their credentials and reputation were by far the best in the metroplex. It turned out to be a very good choice with life-changing ramifications.
“Two of the best things about the program at El Centro are the instructors and the clinical experiences provided as part of the program. The instructors became my friends and mentors. They taught me not only how to scan, but how to be a professional. Rare is the day when I don’t have a flashback of an image or a story or some nugget of wisdom I saw or heard in school that helps me to do my job better.
“The clinical experiences were most valuable in giving us real-life lessons in scanning and showing us the bigger picture of the ultrasound world. Working in at least nine different facilities with various sonographers and a wide variety of doctors helped me decide where and what kind of job I wanted to pursue.
“The end result? I started a new job at a hospital near my house on the Monday after I graduated on Saturday. I got that job because of my degree and the instructors at El Centro. Within a year, I moved on to the job of my dreams at a freestanding clinic.”
Paula Rhodes earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Oklahoma Christian University in 1975 and worked in a wide variety of jobs before earning her associate degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography from El Centro in 2004. Named El Centro’s Outstanding Sonography Student of 2004, she had two articles published in the Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography while still earning her associate degree. In her current position, she conducts all ultrasound exams, including general and vascular ultrasound, for the Outpatient Diagnostic Center in Mansfield. She is certified as a registered diagnostic medical sonographer (RDMS) and registered vascular technician (RVT).