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Why I Chose Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Lynn Nguyen – Sonography Student & Contributor. Join Lynn on her journey as she pursues a 2nd career as a sonographer.

Lynn at school in scrubs

Why Sonography? How Did I Get Here?

I have never given sonography a thought much less loving the thought that I am going to be a sonographer one day. In high school I knew I wanted to pursue a medical career, I was aiming to be a Physician’s Assistant. I attended the University of Connecticut as a biology major and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology because I fell in love with Psychology, which ironically is a general education requirement for my Biology major.

Sonography will be my second career; therefore, I identify as a non-traditional student. To be honest, I was really hesitant about going back to school because part of me is partially ashamed that I am going back to school in my late twenties. Growing up as Asian American, everything was black and white.

I was really interested in all fields of Psychology – behavioral, developmental, industrial/organizational (I/O), etc. Fresh out of my undergraduate studies, my first “adult” job was being an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Therapist, where I worked very closely with children with autism from age 6 to 12. While I loved the students I worked with, I knew right away this job was not for me.

I then was interested in management where I hoped to use what I have learned from my concentration of I/O psychology. I began working for an international retailer that was expanding as fast as I wanted to grow and move up the company.

Within 2 years, I have moved bi-annually, from the east coast to the west coast and back to the east coast; moving from Boston to California to New York City. I have learned to be flexible, adaptable, perceptive and persevere through any obstacles that came my way.

Sometimes Life Gets in the Way

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions of lives, mine included. Like many others, I was furloughed for seven months, unsure of what comes next. During this time, my father was diagnosed with cancer so I became appreciative and saw my furlough as a silver lining that I have this time off to support him and my mother through his diagnosis.

After months of being my father’s primary caretaker and interacting with his medical team, with support from my loved ones, I made the decision to change my career, leave retail, and pursue Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

I had considered other careers such as PA, like my teenage self had wanted, and nursing. However, I am now older and knew what I definitely wanted in my future career. After some late-nights thinking and researching, I knew DMS would be the right career for me. I wanted a profession where I can excel at a role while simultaneously helping others.

Ultimately, I wanted to be a part of a medical team that helps in the process of diagnosing and treating patients just like the amazing medical team that has been helping my father through his cancer battle.

Is a career in medical sonography right for you? 10 questions to ask yourself in our easy self-assessment.

Ultimately, I wanted to be a part of a medical team that helps in the process of diagnosing and treating patients just like the amazing medical team that has been helping my father through his cancer battle.

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take”-Wayne Gretsky

Sonography will be my second career; therefore, I identify as a non-traditional student. To be honest, I was really hesitant about going back to school because part of me is partially ashamed that I am going back to school in my late twenties. Growing up as Asian American, everything was black and white.

At a certain age, I have to accomplish certain types of milestones that are expected of me. I felt as if I didn’t have my life together as I should have. However, the tremendous support that I have from my family, especially my traditional parents, was what I needed to push that shame aside and actually be proud of where I have been that led me here today.

I had a great career that allowed me to be independent from my parents, financially stable enough to purchase my very own car, and gave me the opportunity to travel annually. I literally lived with zero regrets and, fortunately, I can say that I still don’t have any.

I am loving my sonography journey right now. The classes are really tough but loving the subjects makes it so much easier. My clinical site, Mount Sinai Hospital, is amazing by providing me with so many opportunities to learn and grow to be the sonographer I hope to be one day.

As of this writing, my father is currently in the hospital due to complications from his cancer. I have been going home to be with my parents on the weekends and come back to NYC for classes and clinicals. My father and I have agreed that he will fight his cancer battle until the end as long as I do my absolute best in school. He is the reason I am pursuing this fascinating profession and there is nothing that will stop me from achieving this goal.

As a Contributor, I hope to be a resource to prospective students by sharing my transparent, relatable journey, providing tips & tricks, as well as to be an advocate for the field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, emphasizing the importance of sonographers in medicine.

Lynn Nguyen, Sonography Student Intern

Lynn Nguyen, Sonography Student Intern

Lynn Nguyen is a first-year cardiac/vascular sonography student at the Center for Allied Health Education in Brooklyn, NY. She documents her sonography journey on Instagram, @dmsdiaries, as well as co-hosting a podcast, Sonographers in the Cities, with the purpose to spread awareness to the sonography profession and support future generations of sonographers. 

When Lynn is not studying or talking about sonography, she is usually relaxing by sleeping, streaming TV shows, cooking/baking, and exploring new eateries in New York City.

If you’d like to learn more about opportunities in sonography, check out some of our other inspiring interviews and articles:

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