Ultrasound student Briana Schirtz sees her education and career come together
Student of the Week: Briana Schirtz
Returning to college after more than four years, Briana Schirtz said she harbored an intense interest in the medical field after initially working as a medication technician at a facility for Alzheimer’s and dementia in her hometown of Rochester, NY.
Moving to the Rio Grande Valley in 2017 with her husband, Briana said she had initially received her bachelor degree in cross-disciplinary studies with a background in natural science, psychology and business.
“When I first moved here, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start working or go back to school because I previously graduated with my bachelor degree in New York,” Briana said. “About four months went by and I applied to a bunch of jobs and things weren’t just working out so I thought that coming back to school was the route for me.”
October is National Ultrasound Awareness Month, and the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at South Texas College provides educational and clinical experience in ultrasound physics and instrumentation, Doppler imaging, as well as cross-sectional anatomy and pathophysiology in the abdomen, pelvis, obstetrics, gynecology, and superficial structures.
Briana is currently studying for her Advanced Medical Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
When she arrived in the Valley, Briana said had considered the nursing program at STC, but opted for the college’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program after initial meetings with faculty.
“I think coming into college, I had always wanted to go into the medical field, but it wasn’t until I graduated from college initially that I started doing hands-on patient care,” she said. “I worked at an Alzheimer’s and dementia facility so I started there doing direct patient care, and I loved it.”
Briana said she plans to work in a hospital setting.
“Sonography itself is a hands-on thing,” she said. “You have to spend time with the machine, and it’s just taking what you know from that machine and incorporating all of the anatomy and physiology you get when you start working with patients. Now that I am a little more than halfway through, I am seeing it all come together.”
“Sonography itself is a hands-on thing. You have to spend time with the machine, and it’s just taking what you know from that machine and incorporating all of the anatomy and physiology you get when you start working with patients. Now that I am a little more than halfway through, I am seeing it all come together.”
“In my four years of undergrad I am proud to have gone to college on an athletic scholarship. I played Division I soccer all through college so that was a huge accomplishment for me.”
“Academic-wise, I transferred a few times during my undergrad, but I have experienced more than a few types of institutions. Here is the most diverse I have seen because the majority of my classmates and professors are Spanish speaking. It has been so interesting getting a different outlook.”