TSC gives sonography alum career opportunity in health care

Amber Arratia always knew she wanted a career in health care, and she found her passion and success at Texas Southmost College in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.

With an interest in the medical field at an early age, the San Benito native tried her hand in nursing at another local college, but quickly found that the profession wasn’t for her.

“I was a bit discouraged and disappointed. What could I pursue in health care if nursing wasn’t for me,” said Arratia. “Then I found TSC’s Sonography program and it just clicked.”

After one year of completing program prerequisites, she was able to apply, got accepted and graduated with an associate degree in May 2020.

“I had the best experience at TSC. I’m a visual learner so I fit in perfectly,” she said. “The way the program was structured, and the time devoted to our learning and understanding by our instructors was like none other. I found myself at TSC.”

Arratia added that it was the one-on-one learning opportunities, the hands-on experiences and the additional resources provided by her instructors that allowed her to trust and gain confidence in her skills and feel fully prepared to take her board exams and enter the workforce.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography students like Arratia have access to a lab fully equipped with industry-standard ultrasound machines and Butterfly iQ portable ultrasound, a hand-held device that can diagnose medical abnormalities.

In their last semester, students also focus on reviewing and preparing for licensing exams.

“I’m not the greatest test taker. I get very nervous,” said Arratia. “But I was more than prepared and the moment I read those questions I knew I was ready.”

Arratia was so well prepared, she served as a tutor for other students in the program. She even earned a scholarship from the Thomas H. Sweeney, Jr. and Eloise Ely Sweeney Scholarship Endowment for her efforts.

Since then, Arratia has started her career as a registered diagnostic medical sonographer at Optimum Imaging in McAllen and Mission, and has received two additional certifications in abdominal sonography and obstetrics and gynecology sonography.

In the near future, Arratia said she hopes to obtain an additional certification in breast sonography and in vascular ultrasound, pursue a bachelor’s degree in her field and one day return to teach at TSC.

“My instructors Ariel Villanueva and Adriana Dallas have been great inspirations to me,” said Arratia. “Coming back to TSC to work alongside them would be a dream come true. This college and program have changed my life and I want to help do that for others.”

Visit TSC’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography program for more information.

Registration for summer and fall 2021 begins April 1.