Before enrolling at AIMS Education, Jennifer Wellman worked for a nationally syndicated talk show. On the surface, working in television seemed like the perfect fit for someone with a bachelor’s degree in performing arts. However, after working on the talk show for seven years, Jennifer began to realize something was missing. She’d always felt that her true calling was to help others.
Having concentrated in dancing during her undergraduate studies, Jennifer was always intrigued with the human body and how it worked. Therefore the healthcare field became a no-brainer when she decided to change careers. Eventually her desire to learn how the body works and see what it looks like on the inside led her to diagnostic medical sonography.
After visiting a few schools that offered sonography programs, she decided AIMS was the right fit for her. She appreciated the attention and assistance she was given during the admission process, and she was excited to learn from instructors with extensive healthcare backgrounds. Knowing that she’d get lots of opportunities to practice scanning also played a big part in her decision.
“To be able to scan while on campus and apply what we were learning in lecture was important to me as a student.”
Going back to school after so many years was no easy task. Jennifer was a full-time student at AIMS and worked full days on the weekends as well. Balancing her life and finding the time to study became a real challenge. Her hard work and personal drive got her through the tough times though. It also helped that she loved what she was learning.
Overall, she had a positive experience at AIMS. She enjoyed the personal attention she got and never just felt like a number. Her instructors found her to be an intelligent, hard-working student. And the results of her hard work were evident. She was awarded the AIMS Academic Excellence Scholarship and was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS).
One of the unexpected rewards of going back to school were the new friendships she developed. She shared a life-changing journey with her classmates, and is truly grateful that she has been able to keep in touch with many of them. Even after they completed their internships and graduated, they continued to stay in touch and share their experiences. It wound up being a great support system for Jennifer.
After completing the classroom education at AIMS, Jennifer moved on to her internship. She was able to take the academic foundation she received at AIMS and apply it to practical use. She got the opportunity to complete her internship at two clinical sites – Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, NJ and Jersey Diagnostic Imaging in Linden, NJ.
Saint Michael’s introduced her to the fast-paced environment of working in a hospital, but it was at Jersey Diagnostic Imaging where she felt the techs went above and beyond to help her fine tune her skills in scanning and documenting cases. She was given the opportunity to scan patients with the guidance of techs who had been working in the field for more than twenty years.
“I learned so much that by the end of my [clinical] hours, although sad it had come to an end, I felt prepared.”
One week after completing her clinical internship, Jennifer sat for her first ARDMS registry exam. Three days later she was hired as a sonographer at H & D Sonography in Parsippany and at Saint Clare’s Denville Hospital. She was truly appreciative of all the help she received from AIMS. In particular, the Career Services Department went above and beyond to make sure she knew AIMS was there to support her.
Jennifer still plans to earn more credentials from ARDMS and expand her education further. She hopes one day to mentor a future sonographer using all of the knowledge she’s gained from her education, internship, and now her career.
Name: Jennifer Wellman
Program: Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Graduation Date: July 2016