Graduate Success Spotlight: Melodie Clayton
Melodie is also a budding entrepreneur and used her newfound expertise in OB to plant the seed for starting her own scanning business. Following her externship, she was able to work with her business minded husband on developing a business plan and raising the large amount of capital to get things up and running in a relatively small time frame. In those short six months, she developed the Enchanting Baby 3D/4D Ultrasound Studio -a spa-like scanning environment for expectant mothers and their partners to see beautiful 3D/4D images of their developing baby projected onto the wall. Since opening last December, she has received lots of positive feedback, and takes pride in keeping prices affordable. She is also happy to report that she loves what she is doing, and gets a kick out of talking to all of the satisfied and happy families that come into her establishment. As her business grows and becomes more recognized, she says that she would like to give back to the school and hire other graduates from WCUI to work with her.
For any graduate looking to follow in similar footsteps, she would advise them to, “Keep pushing for your dreams. If you're not finding your dream job, get experience somewhere and then apply where you want.”
Continue reading below for the full interview.
What got you interested in ultrasound? Was there a moment when something “clicked” and you knew you wanted to be a sonographer?
Had worked at Honeywell as a machinist, was laid off, and with TAA funding for training was able to try something new.
What have you accomplished in ultrasound that you are most proud of?
I started over, I found West Coast and it was probably the best decision I ever made. As a result of the program was able to start this business. I would have never thought I could own my own business.
What obstacles did you have to overcome to get to where you are today in a position of success?
Getting out into the real world right now, it's hard to get started,but I really wanted to do 3D/4D. I didn't really like the atmosphere of the place I interviewed, so I decided to start my own business.
Who are the role models in your life and how have they inspired you and helped you become successful?
I asked to go the Ultrasound Institute Medical Group (UIMG) clinic for my externship because I wanted to focus on OB, I got a lot of hands-on OB experience. I learned the importance of cleanliness, patient comfort.
Tell me about some of memorable patients that you have scanned/cared for.
I really wanted to create a spa-like atmosphere, a baby theme. Everyone who comes in really loves it. My massage table is the widest available and can hold up to 1000 pounds. The screen can project an image up to 100 inches on the wall. We made a special 'daddy' chair, a comfortable leather chair. I wanted to have that bonding experience, create a bond for the family. I changed the time from 15 to 20 minutes to allow extra time for the moms to walk around. A lot of people I've seen have been very happy with the prices, I'm keeping it affordable.
What advice would you give a student who is just starting out in ultrasound school?
The whole trip of starting a business has been an experience. You have to have a lot of capital, you have to have someone who knows business to push you along. Because I have my husband's expertise in business, I have that help. It easily takes six months to start your business, and it costs more than you think. For any new grad, keep pushing for your dreams. If you're not finding your dream job, get experience somewhere and then apply where you want.
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I love spending time with my kids, if I'm not with the business I'm with them. My youngest is 4, and he's growing so fast.
What is one of your favorite memories from your time here at WCUI?
I have lots of favorite memories. My favorite subject was Abdomen. It was my first semester in scanning. She (Ms Jenkins) made it easy to learn. She explained things very well and was easy to understand.
How would your past instructors or coworkers describe you?
I loved the students I was with, the group before us and behind us.
What makes you unique?
I love what I do. I love seeing the happy families, talking to them.
What is one of the hardest things about your job/externship?
Externship was fun just because you are always learning new things. Vascular was hard for me.
What goals do you have for yourself in the field of ultrasound?
We set a goal to open in December and we made it. My goal is to get our business growing, to get more recognized and to be busy enough to hire a student or graduate and give back.
Please let everyone know about Enchanting Baby 3D/4D Ultrasound Studio