The Skilled Sonographer, DruAusten Fields, RDMS (AB, OB/GYN), RVT looks back on the development of her SPI test prep mini-course, and her work to help others pass their SPI exam.
When I look back on where I started versus where I am, I can confidently say I have earned a seat at the sonography table. Now I’m giving others the tools to do the same.
With the time I had between graduation and starting my first job, I traveled abroad to Spain. I also earned a registry in OB/GYN ultrasound.
I was excited to get my hands on a little bit of everything at my first ultrasound job in a hospital facility. I worked in the general ultrasound department, where abdomen, OB/GYN, small parts, interventional procedures, and some vascular ultrasounds were performed.
The workflow of this job was highly technical, so it took a while to get used to. However, I realized I had a strength in identifying pathology through my images.
Concurrent with my job in the general ultrasound department, I worked as an adjunct instructor in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program from which I graduated.
Ultrasound Physics and Abdominal pathology were the courses I instructed. I spent hours doing deep dives on ultrasound physics concepts to be able to convey them in a simple and effective manner. I yearned to help the students have a good shot at passing their SPI exam.
Later, I obtained a job in a dedicated vascular lab, where we performed ultrasounds on arteries and veins from head to toe. This is where I began to flourish as a sonographer. I became more confident in my skills and learned to improve patient care by observing my coworkers.
I truly enjoyed the straightforwardness of vascular ultrasound. There were far fewer pathologies to keep in mind. After about a year if experience, I was ready sit for the vascular registry exam. With the hard work and the assistance of my co-workers…I passed!
Performing vascular ultrasound made Doppler ultrasound physics click for me even more. I got to know the machine settings thoroughly and how they affected the image quality.
Since I had gained more hands-on experience with practicing ultrasound physics, I felt even greater passion to share this knowledge with others. I wanted to make it click for DMS students on a greater scale like it was now clicking for me. So the question arose, how?
First, I would need an audience to speak to, in order to share the knowledge I had gained. Social media is now the place to go for that. So I created an Instagram account.
But what Instagram handle would resonate with my passion and message? I thought about my goal to always be the best I can and how I would love the opportunity to inspire others to do the same.
Then I thought about the letter of recommendation I had received from my most challenging clinical instructor in school. Much to my surprise, he said that in the future, he saw me becoming a “premier sonographer”. But my handle is not @ThePremierSonographer. Why? Because I’m not there yet.
So I thought about at which point in my career I was. My skills were definitely sharpening. The Skilled Sonographer was then born.
The Circulatory Skillset was birthed from a desire to eliminate the stress I was under while studying ultrasound physics. I felt as though I had to teach myself everything during the college course and lacked guidance. I desired to instill confidence in new students.
The Circulatory Skillset covers the most tested exam category on the SPI exam, Doppler Imaging Concepts! It breaks down the information using simple language. I used my experience from taking the SPI exam as well as teaching an ultrasound physics course to make the information as relevant as possible.
The Circulatory Skillset is an online video based mini-course that includes text, graphics, voice over, and real ultrasound images. It is hosted on a premium learning management system. The mini-course is great for every type of learner including hands-on, auditory, visual, etc.
Course users can play, pause, take notes, and replay the videos as many times as desired during the course access period. Also, over 65 practice questions are included that can be retaken an unlimited amount of times!
Countless students have reached out to let me know how the course has helped them pass the SPI exam. I am grateful that I have been able to produce something of use to so many individuals.
If you’d like to learn more about opportunities in sonography, check out some of our other inspiring interviews: