Natashia Hamilton
Natashia Hamilton, RDMS
Natashia graduated from CAHE's Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program in July of 2018. Immediately upon graduation, she accepted a position as a Sonographer at Lennox Hill Radiology where she is presently working.

Below Natashia shares her insight on why she chose the field of Sonography, and offers advice to prospective students on importance of research and self-discipline.

CAHE: What did you enjoy most in the program?
Natashia: I enjoyed being able to learn all parts of ultrasound scanning - Abdomen, GYN, OB, Breast, Thyroid, Vascular & Echo. I truly loved being educated in all fields which prepared me for my job today.

CAHE: Where are you now professionally and what is your professional goal?
Natashia: I have been employed since the day after graduation working for a Radiology imaging company. I currently scan: Abdomen, GYN, Breast, Thyroid & first Trimester OB daily. I am going to move on to a hospital setting and primarily be scanning 2nd& 3rd Trimester OB. As I advance in my career, my professional goal is to become a chief technologist of an Ultrasound Department leading a great team and to continue learning about advancing ultrasound.

CAHE: Is there anything that you would like to add about your experience in the field/profession, or advice to those pursing the field?
Natashia: I greatly enjoy this field. It allows me to connect with patients in a way that most people cannot and would never. There are a substantial amount of Ultrasound Technologists who are registered in different areas with different years of experience. One things for sure, every tech has their own unique way of scanning & obtaining images. The most important things to practice in this field is patient care and self-care. Always treat every patient with compassion and patience. I find that patients do not always understand the test we are performing and most often think what "we" may see as a simple gallbladder, they would ask if it's a tumor. Everyone comes in for different reasons and will have different experiences. Lastly but most important, always be aware of your posture and how you scan. Find a comfortable way to position your arm or shitting in a chair. Practice good posture technique will help keep longevity in this career. I currently work with tech who have adapted bad habits early on in their careers and now suffer from wrist, neck, back and shoulder injuries. This is highly important.

CAHE: What is one piece of advice that you would give to perspective students looking to enter the field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography?
Natashia: One piece of advice I would give, is to make sure you are 100% positive that this is the path you want to go down before spending your time and money on this career. Radiology has a lot of different modalities. Do your research! Understand and know the difference between each one. Understand what radiation is, and which modality uses it. Ultrasound is a growing field and has opportunity for everyone. There are other modalities that you can advance from, you need to know and also understand which one those are. Once you have decided, then GO for it! Do not let anyone or anything stop you. You will be grateful at the end, just how I am.

Paulina Marlena Boguska
Paulina Marlena Boguska, RDMS
Paulina is a graduate of CAHE's Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program, currently working as a Sonographer in General and Vascular Lab at Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology.

We sat down with Paulina to discuss her experience in the program and the field:

CAHE: What inspired you to join the field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography?
Paulina: I had a few family friends in the medical field and when I asked for their advice, they told me about sonography and how they wished they went in that direction when they were younger.

CAHE: What is the greatest lesson that you learned in the program?
Paulina: I learned to believe in myself. The program is very intense and you may doubt your knowledge, but you get stronger and smarter with each semester.

CAHE: What is one piece of advice that you would give to perspective students looking to enter the field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography?
Paulina: Be prepared for very hard work and dedication. You have to be the best student you can be and gain the most knowledge you can in order to be a good sonographer. One misdiagnosis can cost a patient more than you know.

Vanessa Therancy
Vanessa Therancy, RDMS
Vanessa graduated our Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program in 2018, and is currently working as a Sonographer at Lenox Hill Radiology.

Vanessa shared with us her perspective about the program and the field:

CAHE: Tell us about yourself prior to attending the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program.
Vanessa: I have worked as an administrative assistant in the medical field for quite a while, but I always wanted to be more involved clinically. After having an ultrasound myself, I decided to research the field and thought it might be something I would be interested in.

CAHE: What is the most valuable lesson learned during your two years at CAHE?
Vanessa: The program at CAHE was a wake-up call. There is often a misconception a lot of people have about sonographers, that we simply take pictures, and only view babies. Our field is one of the hardest, not only didactically but skill-wise as well. We do not simply take pictures, we are relied on to assess for pathologies and operate the machine to adjust grayscale images so that the radiologists can determine a diagnosis.

CAHE: What advice do you have to those entering the program?
Vanessa: One piece of advice to perspective students is to study and understand why we take protocol images. Lastly, take advantage of the materials CAHE has to offer and do not stop scanning when the opportunity presents itself. Even though our field is not easy, and often we do not give yourself enough credit for what we do, it is very rewarding to know you played a huge role in helping someone.

Irina Krotin
Irina Krotin, RDMS
Irina Krotin, RDMS graduated from CAHE's Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program in August of last year and has already successfully passed her Abdomen, OB/GYN, and Echocardiography registries. During her time in the program, Irina's hard work, as well as her commitment to patient care did not go unnoticed. She completed the program with one of the highest overall academic GPAs and was awarded the Academic Excellence, Student Leadership and Honor Roll Awards at graduation.

Below, Irina outlines how she first obtained interest in the field, some of the lessons that she learned, as well as advice that has helped her to land a dream job even before her official graduation date.

CAHE: What inspired you to join the field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography?
Irina:I have always seen myself in healthcare, and it took some time for me to find my calling. A very close friend of mine whom I used to work with in the pharmacy, had suggest one day that I should look into imaging because someone as creative and who loves healthcare, should be really happy doing that for a living, so I went home and did my research and the rest is history. The field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a combination of hands on work and really being involved with patients. I love being able to critically think and put the puzzle pieces together based on my findings – kind of like a "medical detective" so to speak. This field is certainly for those who have curious minds and enjoy the many challenging aspects of medicine.

CAHE: What did you enjoy most in the program?
Irina: I moved to New York just a week prior to orientation, so going back to school wasn't the only new page in my life. I truly enjoyed my whole journey to where I am today. The DMS program at CAHE gave me the opportunity to create new friendships and relationships, which helped me succeed socially, academically, and practically.

CAHE: Where are you now professionally and what is your professional goal?
Irina:My third internship site that I was sent to trained me in both Adult Echocardiography and Vascular. A month before graduation I had music play in my ears when my preceptor at the time sat me down and asked me if I would be interested to work there. I was hired at New York Cardiovascular Associates and recently the practice joined the NYU Langone Health team. Now, I am a Cardiovascular Sonographer at NYU Langone Medical Associates – Chelsea. I originally started working with the Abdomen and OB/GYN registries under my belt, and have also passed the Adult Echocardiography registry. My next goal is to tackle the vascular registry as soon as I get accustomed to the recent transition in the company and continue to grow and learn as I go.

CAHE: In your experience, is there a patient, situation or story that really stands out in your mind?
Irina:It just so happens that when there are gloomy days where I would feel like all I do is "just take pictures," a patient would hug me after the exam and thank me for everything that I do for them. The biggest reward in this field is when you get acknowledged by your patients. I can't pin point just one because all these experiences are truly special from the heart. I love when some of my 90+ year-olds would tell me how "adventurous" they were when they were younger and share some of their darkest secrets to crack a smile on my face while performing the exam.

CAHE: Is there anything that you would like to add about your experience in the field/profession, or advice to those pursing the field?
Irina: Honestly, work extremely hard! I know it is vague, but seriously give your all. I highly suggest coming up with an effective studying routine while in school and use all your resources. Teachers are readily available to help you and work with you. There is free tutoring available that can be arranged upon your request, as well as out of classroom scanning time (with an instructor to guide you!). Also, because the DMS program is CAAHEP accredited, students can sit for the Abdomen and OB/GYN registries as early as 60 days prior to graduation – do it!!! Nothing can be worse than finishing school and being out of the job scene due to registry preparation. Most places will hire you simply for being RDMS and give you time to obtain other registries if necessary. For example, I acquired my Abdomen and OB/GYN and was able to start at a Cardiovascular practice and I am given a year to obtain the Adult Echo, which I already have, and also obtain the Vascular registry. If there is anything you can accomplish/complete, don't wait -- get it done.

Melissa Daif
Melissa Daif, BA, RT (R)
Melissa Daif graduated from the Radiography Program in July of 2017. During her time as a student, Melissa served as her class representative on the Student Leadership Committee. Immediately upon graduation, she successfully passed the ARRT Certification Exam. After receiving several job offers, Melissa accepted a position as a Radiologic Technologist at NYP/Weill Cornell Medical Center where she is presently working.

Despite already having a BA, Melissa is looking to obtain her bachelor in science in the near future. Additionally, she plans on enrolling in CAHE’s upcoming MRI Registry Prep Course to obtain her license in the field, as well as Interventional Radiology.

We asked Melissa a few questions pertaining to her experience in the program, field, and what advice she has for prospective students…

CAHE: What inspired you to join the field of Radiography?
Melissa:The reason I joined the field was because I wanted to help people in need. Although there are many branches of medicine that aid in diagnosing a patient, radiography is usually the first step. Being able to be one of the first interactions a patient encounters made me develop a passion for my field, as I am able to make every one of my patients feel comfortable and safe.

CAHE: What did you enjoy most in the program?
Melissa: During the program I most enjoyed being able to rotate though five different hospitals. I loved the experience of working with new people and new equipment. It also allowed me to become more social and accept frequent change.

CAHE: What is the greatest lesson that you learned in the program?
Melissa:I learned to never get comfortable. One thing that this program has shown me was that in order to achieve, you must learn and be proficient in all areas of the hospital as well as different equipment and environments.

CAHE: What is one piece of advice that you would give to perspective students looking to enter the field of Radiography?
Melissa:The most important piece of advice I can give to future students is to never get discouraged and give up. There will be many obstacles along the way but if you stay persistent and work hard, it will all pay off.

CAHE: In your experience, is there a patient, situation or story that really stands out in your mind?
Melissa: During my career at Weill Cornell, one of my responsibilities is to obtain daily portable radiographs of all the patients in the cardiac ICU. Although it is challenging at times, it made me realize how much I truly love the profession I chose. Since I am one of the first faces these patients see, I often attend to their needs. The joy and relief from my patients truly grows my happiness. The most simple gestures can help patients feel content and can contribute to the healing process.

CAHE:Is there anything that you would like to add about your experience in the field/profession?
Melissa:It is easy to become distracted and forget the importance of why we joined this field. Be mindful of your patients and their condition, needs, culture and background. Always be respectful and caring to the fullest.

Isaak Miroshenko
Isaak Miroshenko, MA, RT (R) (CT)
Isaak Miroshenko, MA, RT (R) (CT) is no stranger to NYMH Center for Allied Health Education. Isaak began his career in healthcare as a student in the Radiography Program, moved on to being an instructor and was promoted to Clinical Coordinator afterwards. He is known to go above and beyond for his students and thrives on their success as healthcare professionals. There is no doubt that Isaak is an asset to the Center and the Radiography Program and we are fortunate to have him share his story with us.

CAHE: Tell us about yourself prior to attending the Radiography Program.
Isaak: Prior to attending the Radiography Program, I attended Edward R. Murrow High School where I became very interested in the law field.  I later attended Baruch College and I was a Political Science Major.  At the time, my goal was to become a Corporate Litigation Lawyer.  During college, I did an internship in a law firm and I did not find it appealing to sit behind a desk and research case law.  I did not want to be miserable everyday coming to work.  My heart was no longer in the field of law.  After college, my friend told me about the Radiography Program and informed me that I would be a perfect fit because of my helpful personality.  When I went for the interview at the Center, I knew my heart has found its place.  I felt at home. I knew that I have found my calling.

CAHE: Tell us about your many roles within the Radiography Program.
Isaak: I attended the Radiography Program from 2010-2012.  I became a lecturer in 2014.  After a few lectures, I was offered a full-time didactic instructor position.  I was promoted to Clinical Coordinator in April of 2015.

CAHE: What drew you to the field of Radiography?
Isaak: Helping others is what drew me to the field of Radiography.  Nothing beats helping others in a world where many problems exist.  Many patients whom we deal with have no family.  Sometimes helping someone is as simple as just speaking to them for 5 minutes.  A lot of geriatric patients, especially, have no family.  As a healthcare provider, you have the ability to become their family.  People sometimes forget why they joined the profession, but I always remind my students that we are here for the patients.

CAHE: How was your experience as a student?
Isaak: My experience here at the Center was simply amazing.  We had a great program director and clinical coordinator who went above and beyond for us.  Also, as a class, we all became a family.  We grew and matured into healthcare professionals and became friends for life.  We studied together and rooted for each other. When one of us did not do well, it was as if all of us did not do well.  We functioned as a whole.  As a team.  We were one heartbeat.  My experience here at the Center is nothing like I would have imagined.  It was simply different than being in a traditional college.  Everyone cared for each other and you were not simply just the last four digits of a social security number.

CAHE: Tell us about how your life has progressed professionally since graduating from the program.
Isaak: Since graduating the program, my life has progressed very quickly in our wonderful field.  I always wanted to be an educator and help shape future healthcare professionals.  My students are a reflection of our program and I have always had the mentality of starting a filtering effect of great patient care.  I know if I teach my students to be the best healthcare professionals, it will eventually filter out to our patients and future students who will be working with our former graduates.  The point is to change our field for the positive one step at a time.  Also, I never stop learning and am currently attending Stony Brook University in pursuit of a Master's Degree in Higher Education.

CAHE: What is your most memorable experience in the program?
Isaak: I am very appreciative of the team that I work so closely with here at the Center. We all work very well together and I would be nothing without them.  Liz Adair is a remarkable leader who inspires and has a vision for our field.  Her leadership is what guides the successfulness of the Radiography Program.  Joseph Bynum, Yana Strochkova, and Gabriella Arroba are remarkable instructors who inspire our students to become the best Radiographers in the state of New York and probably the United States.  Aside from the Radiography Program, the administrative staff here at the Center goes above and beyond for our students.

CAHE: What advice do you have to those entering the program?
Isaak: The Radiography Program will be the hardest two years of your life but it will all be worth it in the end.  You will no longer just have a job… you will have a profession.  In Radiography, you can make a name for yourself even if you did not have the best grades.   It is hard work, teamwork and dedication that employers look for.  I tell all of my students that "Essentially this is a two year job interview."

CAHE: What makes for a successful Radiologic Technologist?
Isaak: One must understand that we are here for the patient and that the patient care is a priority. Our job is to ensure that each patient comes out in the same condition that they came in, but hopefully with a smile on their face as they are leaving.

CAHE: Is there anything else that you would like to add about your overall experience?
Isaak: When I was a student here, I worked full-time, was a newlywed, and had a newborn baby.  I was the Valedictorian of my class and was offered many job opportunities.  The point is that if I can do it, anyone can as long as you know how to time manage and have dedication. I have absolutely loved and appreciated my incredible journey thus far.

Simone Europe
Simone Europe, BA, RDMS, RVT
Simone Europe, BA, RDMS, RVT, a recent valedictorian of CAHE's Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program, has already made a significant impact on her field, having completed three registries – and working on a fourth – within only months of graduation! We sat down with Simone to discuss her experience in the program and the field:

CAHE: Why did you choose to attend the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at Center for Allied Health Education?
Simone: I had a Bachelor's degree in an unrelated field and, unlike many other programs in the area that require applicants to have already completed the necessary prerequisite coursework, CAHE's program integrates the prerequisite coursework into the program, providing all students with an opportunity to gain the foundationnecessary to succeed in the field. Another important factor was that the didactic and clinical components are integrated and simultaneous, unlike other programs that conduct their clinical rotations at the very end of the program.

CAHE: Please describe your overall experience in the program.
Simone: I can only say that it was "AMAZING." The program faculty, clinical preceptors and my fellow students were phenomenal. I am fortunate to have developed lifelong friendships while building my professional network.

CAHE: What is the most valuable lesson learned during your two years at CAHE?
Simone: To never hesitate to ask questions. From the very beginning, we were encouraged to ask questions whenever we were unsure of something or needed additional clarification. I also learned to make use of the valuable resources available to us, which helped ease the burden.

CAHE: How was your clinical experience overall?
Simone: I consider myself incredibly lucky to have rotated through a variety of clinical sites with wonderful supervisors,preceptors and staff, many of whom I continue to maintain contact with. I feel fortunate to have completed my General rotations at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center and The Mount Sinai Hospital, my OB/GYN rotation at Center for Allied Health Education, and my Echocardiography and Vascular rotations at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital.

CAHE: Is there one particular event or experiencein the program that stands out for you?
Simone: I really enjoyed scanning lab sessions, especially during my second year when everything was more familiar and becoming second nature. Students were separated into groups and allowed to practice on each other. It was also a great opportunity to review the material that was being covered in our clinical experience at the time.

CAHE: What advice would you offer to a student who is just beginning the program?
Simone: Have patience and perseverance. Everything is new and unfamiliar in the beginning. However, as time goes on, you will begin to develop a deeper passion for the field.

CAHE: Please describe your current position and what your professional goals are.
Simone: I am currently working at a private outpatient practice with several locations, covering multiple specialties, but focusing primarily on Vascular and Echocardiography. I love the environment which I am presently in where I encounter mostly common cases, and my goal is to advance to an environment where I would have the opportunity to encounter some of the less common scenarios.

Simone concludes reiterating how wonderful her experience in the program was and how it exceeded all expectations. She is grateful for the people that she met and the relationships which were developed. She adds that sonographers, along with many other healthcare professionals, are often times underappreciated and do not receive the full recognition which they deserve. Simone states that the job is mentally and physically demanding, but has absolutely loved her experience and journey thus far.

CAHE wishes Simone the best of luck and she continues to grow and prosper in the field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
Jason Cohen, MA, RT(R)
Jason Cohen attended the Radiography Program at Center for Allied Health Education (CAHE) from 2007-2009, after which he utilized CAHE's affiliation with Saint Francis College and achieved a Bachelor's degree. While serving as our very own Clinical Instructor for the Radiography Program, Jason continued his studies towards an MS in Biological & Physical Science at Touro College, where he progressed even further and is now a third year medical student. Our Assistant Director, Ms. Sarah Bokow, recently interviewed Jason about his experience in the program and thereafter.

CAHE: What was the most rewarding part of the Radiography Program?
JC: In every aspect of healthcare, people trust us (the providers) with their loved ones' lives at a time when they are most vulnerable. It is a privilege to be trusted to care for someone who does not know me on a personal level.

CAHE: Is there any particular event while in the program that most fondly resonates in your mind?
JC: I once had an older female patient who was obviously very scared after undergoing a number of X-rays , not understanding what was happening. I clearly remember holding her hand and comforting her, as well as the way she looked up at me and thanked me. As a student, I realized that… more than anything, I am working with real people and that any small gesture goes a long way.

CAHE: What was the greatest challenge that you faced during your time in the Radiography Program?
JC: The greatest challenge was in developing the confidence to walk into any clinical situation and feel comfortable handling it. With time and perseverance, I was able to develop the confidence that I needed.

CAHE: Is there anything else that stands-out about the program?
JC: I was taught all aspects of the healthcare field – the medical aspect and the human aspect. Even now, during my rotations as a physician, I utilize the skills I attained while in the Radiography Program to navigate the human aspect of medicine. While many medical students find patient interaction to be challenging, I have been able to adapt more easily because of my experience in the program.

CAHE: What motivated you to ultimately pursue a career as a medical doctor?
JC: It all began during my very first clinical rotation of the Radiography Program, where my interaction with patients and surgeons inspired me to advance within the medical field.

CAHE: What is your advice to prospective or current students?
JC: When reflecting on my journey, the best advice I could offer to students is to not treat setbacks as failures. Everyone experiences setbacks in life. As long as you pick yourself up, learn from mistakes and keep moving forward, then not only did you not fail, but you will be able to go even further than you were able to before. This perspective will get you very far in life.

Mr. Cohen describes his time in the program as "challenging and requiring a lot of effort," adding that he had no prior knowledge of anatomy and physiology or medical terminology upon admission into the Radiography Program. He is thankful for the assistance and support of the program's instructors and the Center's administration who assisted him when he needed it, as well as for his classmates who helped him persevere through the more challenging times. Today, he refers to his former classmates as "family" and regularly attends their weddings and special events.