In this Alumni Spotlight we caught up with Cassandra Kinner, Diagnostic Medical Sonographer graduate who currently is self employed as a travel sonographer.
Where have you worked since you graduated and where do you currently work? What is your title?
My name is Cassandra and I attended Great Lakes starting in 2013 and graduated in 2015. I completed my clinical rotation in Morgantown, WV and since graduating I have worked in Sarasota, FL and then decided to become a traveling sonographer.
As a traveling sonographer, I take contracts at facilities across the US in need of staffing short-term. A normal contract consists of having a day to a week to learn the facility, machines, computer systems, and how to navigate the hospital. I enjoy working as a traveling sonographer because I feel like it pushes me to learn lots of new things and puts me outside my comfort zone. As a travel sonographer, I have worked in upstate New York for 1 contract, and I have taken 4 contracts in Fairbanks, Alaska.
What do you like about your career?
What I like about my career is how versatile it is. When I first started working, I specialized in high risk OB/GYN part time, and also worked at a very large 1,000 bed facility part time. This allowed me to fine tune my skills as a sonographer and get lots of experience in multiple specialties. There are so many registries and specialties in ultrasound which is one of the things I love about it!
What did you like most about Great Lakes?
What I liked most about attending Great Lakes is how straight forward the program is. I feel like it is an awesome program for those who are looking to take classes directly pertaining to their career choice with no "fillers." I also really like how open the communication is with the clinical coordinator while on clinical.
What are your career goals for the future?
My goal for the future is to continue to travel with my career until I find where I would like to live and settle down, and eventually get a permanent job instead of a contract job (which will be so hard because I LOVE traveling!)
What advice can you give current students and new graduates that can help them be successful?
I would give current students the advice of studying anatomy and pathology that isn’t on the test. Also to scan in the lab as much as possible and familiarize yourself with all sorts of scanning techniques. The more knowledgeable you are with the anatomy and pathology, the more confident you are in your scanning! I would also prompt students to familiarize themselves with different radiology modalities (specifically mammography and CT). This helps so much!
What do you like to do in your free time/any new happenings in your life you want to share?
In my free time I enjoy all different outdoor activities including kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, hiking, photography, mountain biking, and camping. As a traveling sonographer, I get to choose when I want to take a contract and when I want time off. For the past 2 years I have worked winters and taken the summers off to enjoy my hobbies outside of ultrasound.