From Finance to Cardiovascular Sonography
After 12 years of working on commercial loans within the finance industry, Candace Robinson grew tired of her old career and began searching for a new, more meaningful path where she could feel fulfilled and motivated. Like many adult learners during the height of the pandemic, Candace chose to kickstart her future and make a positive impact on her community.
“I didn’t want to spend the rest of my career doing something I couldn’t find any meaning in,” said Candace, “I thought to myself, ‘I want to start something that I’m both good at and will also benefit the lives of those around me.’”
Igniting a Path to Higher Education
For Candace, going back to school in December 2020 was daunting, but in her heart, she knew that this was the best decision for her. Candace wasn’t initially sure which degree path would be most rewarding, but she always knew that it would be a program at Concorde Career Colleges. Their team had helped her from the start, making her feel both comfortable with the decision to return to school and confident that she could achieve her dreams. After sharing her interests with a Concorde-Jacksonville admissions representative, she learned about the brand-new Cardiovascular Sonography program in Jacksonville (first introduced at the campus in July 2020), where she could study the heart and learn all about non-invasive diagnostic capabilities.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the heart. I knew this program was fast-paced and challenging, but I felt drawn to this specialization and was ready to jump in and learn,” explained Candace.
Due to the nature and newness of the program, the class size was even smaller than Concorde’s standard student-to-instructor ratio, meaning Candace and the rest of her cohort were able to receive more one-on-one training from Concorde instructors. Whether in the classroom or in a clinical setting, Candace’s instructors were always willing to make sure she was comfortable with coursework material and training at the level necessary to prepare for success in the field.
“Everyone, from my instructors, such as Crystal Leyda, to my admission representatives were always there to help me with learning resources, medical journals, and even with the necessary paperwork for clinicals,” said Candace, “When I thought my physics course was going to break me, the Concorde-Jacksonville team was here for me.”
Candace felt continually supported and well-prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation. First during her internship and then during clinical hospital rotations, Candace participated in several hands-on learning opportunities that taught her what it’s like to be a healthcare professional.
“Getting a chance to work with patients and do most of the same things that a certified tech would be doing, while still having access to my instructors for resources, not only built up my confidence, but my passion,” said Candace.
Fulfilling A Heart-Felt Passion
With the support of her family and the faculty and staff at the Jacksonville campus, Candace became one of the first graduates of the Cardiovascular Sonography program, and is now ecstatic about her career and the ability to help others in the community who require cardiovascular care.
“I’m incredibly lucky to have the support of my family and instructors,” said Candace, now a cardiovascular sonograph technician at Memorial HCA Healthcare in Jacksonville – the same hospital where she completed her required clinical rotations. “Without them I wouldn’t be able to help my patients receive the treatment they need and the care they deserve."
Each day, Candace knows the work she is doing directly impacts patients and their families. Whether running scans or interacting with cardiovascular patients, her career switch gave Candace the ability to discover her life’s true purpose.
“It is amazing how much information you can get to diagnose a patient without doing anything invasive,” said Candace. By uncovering solutions with technology, technicians like Candace can help their patients resolve any pain or discomfort they’re experiencing without costly and complicated surgeries.
With her new career as a cardiovascular sonograph technician, Candace is eager to assist more patients and create solutions that will benefit her patients and those in need of critical medical attention. Through her educational experiences with Concorde-Jacksonville, she now has the ability to make the positive impact she was in search of.
“Seeing sick patients is tough, but witnessing their drive is the best,” noted Candace, “Even if they’re in rough shape, they often still want to joke around—bringing a new positive light to my life.”
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