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“I had always been sitting behind a desk and answering phones, both in corporate and medical offices, but I wanted to be in a hands-on medical field. I enrolled in online classes at Dallas County Community College District in 2004 and worked through the basics. I began looking at El Centro’s allied health programs, and Cardiac Sonography just grabbed me. I mean, you’re sitting there watching a heart pump in real time!
“My experience at El Centro was wonderful. The program included online classes plus clinicals three or four days a week. We had the flexibility to do our homework at our own convenience, either doing a little every night or doing it all over the weekend, whatever worked best for us. Our program director, Cathy Carolan, gave us great guidance — she's so enthusiastic and loves what she does so much that she gets other people excited about being cardiac sonographers.
“I worked at Children's Medical Center for four years, where I gained experience in many different environments. I performed echoes in the Operating Room (OR), the Emergency Room (ER), the Heart Catheterization Lab, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the Cardiovascular ICU and the Cardiology Clinic. Each area had different requirements for the set-up of the echo machine, the type of study done and the urgency at which the study was done. It took critical thinking skills to evaluate the situation and adapt to each situation individually.
“In 2015, I had the opportunity to change jobs and begin working in a private practice office. Although I am still performing pediatric echocardiograms, a private practice office requires a new skill set. I have the opportunity to work closely with the cardiologists and medical assistants in our main office at Medical City and in our satellite clinics in other smaller outlying areas. Working in the satellite clinics requires the doctor, the medical assistant and the echo technician to work closely as a team to keep the patient flow moving smoothly. I have learned even more in this setting because I have the opportunity to sit with the doctors and discuss the echo findings on interesting cases.
“After years of sitting behind a desk, I now look forward to going to work every day!”
Karin Ozowski earned a Pediatric Cardiac Sonography associate degree in the program’s first graduating class at El Centro in May 2010. She also worked as an echocardiographer at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth for a year. She is a registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer with certification in pediatric echocardiography.