After three years studying business administration at SUNY Farmingdale, Jessica Doherty found herself thinking more and more about a career in healthcare instead of business. Her mother Denise Doherty suggested she investigate the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at Western Suffolk BOCES. As any business student would do, she did her own research and found that there were indeed jobs in this field. She made an appointment to learn what she would need to do to prepare for entering the program.
With careful planning, she was able to take the necessary science prerequisites for the DMS program and finish her business requirements during her final year at SUNY Farmingdale. She had only taken one science class since high school so the courses required a lot of her time, but she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in business administration and all the math and science classes required for applying to the diagnostic medical sonography program. Jessica then took the pre-entrance exam and passed both it and the entrance interview!
In fall 2011, she joined 20 other students at Wilson Tech’s Northport campus to study Diagnostic Medical Sonography…another two years of classes! During those years her mother says she barely saw her daughter. When she was home, her mother said the door to her room was closed because she was studying all the time.
While she had worked throughout her undergraduate years, she had to limit her work hours to weekends because of the academic workload at BOCES. Once the clinicals started, however, Jessica knew she had made the right decision to study ultrasound. She felt like she was helping people and really enjoyed learning the five different specialties in the ultrasound field. Each specialty gave her contact with a different group of people with different medical issues and she found that very interesting. Throughout her BOCES training, she appreciated her instructors who had all gone through the program and had worked in the field. She appreciated that they were ultrasound techs!
During her clinicals, she came in contact with a company that hires medical sonographers to conduct ultrasounds in people’s homes. Upon graduation, the company offered her a job as a mobile sonographer. She also landed per diem jobs at two different hospitals. Jess loved the variety and being on the go. She found the work challenging and knew she had made the right career decision. Today she works part-time as a diagnostic medical sonographer at Good Samaritan Hospital and part-time at both Southside and South Nassau Hospitals and earns enough that she and her fiancé have just bought their first house!
“She got through it and really loves her work! I’m really proud of her,” said her mother enthusiastically.