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“I had a great experience at El Centro when I earned my associate degree in Respiratory Care, which is why I went back when I decided to earn a certificate in Cardiac Sonography. It’s such an excellent school with an excellent reputation. Any time you mention it to people in the medical profession in Dallas, they know that you have gotten a good, solid education and that you can do the job they hire you to do.
“I was a respiratory therapist at St. Paul Hospital on the heart transplant team. I became so fascinated with the heart that I wanted to find out more. The doctors I was working with suggested I go down to the cardiology department and really see if I was interested — and I just loved it.
“I love echocardiology because every heart is different. I love interacting with the patients. Cardiac patients are usually nervous, and I try to put them at ease. I can always find something to get their mind off of what I’m doing. This field is also great because I get to see the outcome — what happens to the patients. Most of the time, if they do what the doctors say with their diet and exercise, things can really turn around.
“At El Centro, I learned to always put myself in my patients’ positions. Nothing is guaranteed, and anything can change in a heartbeat. You treat every patient on the table like they were a family member or your best friend. Everything that
Cathy Carolan said is true: If you go over and above what you need to do, your work will speak for you. You always aim for 100%. You may fall short, but you’re still going to produce good-quality work.”
Jacqueline Cooksey earned an associate degree in Respiratory Care from El Centro College before earning a certificate in Cardiac Sonography. She is one of the founding partners of Quality Medical Imaging, a corporation aimed at finding medical professionals temporary and permanent assignments with hospitals, doctors’ offices and outpatient centers and covering X-ray, mammography, respiratory care, MRI, CT, general ultrasound, vascular sonography and echocardiography.
She is a registered respiratory therapist and registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer.