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Graduate Success Spotlight Shines on Daianna Lopez, RDMS

Graduate Success Spotlight Shines on Daianna Lopez, RDMS

Daianna Lopez is a graduate of the West Coast Ultrasound Institute Diagnostic Medical Sonography class of 2010. She started on her ultrasound journey soon after graduating from high school and attending a friend’s 3D pregnancy ultrasound appointment where she became instantly fascinated by the ultrasound equipment and the technician’s ability to create and control all of the images on the screen. Daianna quickly made her decision to enroll at the Los Angeles / Beverly Hills campus at WCUI, and to apply herself in a way that would allow her to stand out in a field where most of the technicians would be older and more experienced.

She jumped head-first into all of the new anatomy, physics, and sonography classes with their complicated anatomical terms and multi-step scanning protocols, and soon found herself achieving at a high level and keeping up with the older students, some of whom had medical backgrounds. Daianna so impressed her instructors and WCUI staff that at the end of her lecture and lab education at WCUI, she was placed at USC Hospital for her externship where she was able to prove that she had the abilities and maturity to work in a fast paced hospital setting. Daianna used her natural persistence and determination as well as a coworker mentor and the inspiration she derived from working with cancer patients to grow and find her purpose as a diagnostic medical sonographer.

Now five years later, she continues to work at USC and is excited to return to the Los Angeles/Beverly Hills campus of WCUI to begin work on her bachelor’s degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. In time she hopes to teach others the art and science of becoming an excellent sonographer; and we wouldn’t be surprised if along the way she finds herself mentoring a few young, untested but inspired ultrasound students looking to follow a similar path to success. See below for the interview.

1.  What got you interested in ultrasound?  Was there a moment when something “clicked” and you knew you wanted to be a sonographer?

I became interested in ultrasound when one of my best friends invited me to her sisters 3D baby ultrasound. It caught my attention right away. I was amazed by how a machine can "look" at your body parts with multiple instruments while the technician has full control of the entire job.

2.  What have you accomplished in ultrasound that you are most proud of?

My biggest accomplishment is being able to succeed and keep the same job for 5 years.

3.  What obstacles did you have to overcome to get to where you are today in a position of success?

One of the obstacles I had to overcome in my ultrasound career was starting at such a young age. I had to prove that I was worthy of the position and that I was capable of taking on the responsibilities of an ultrasound tech.

4.  Who are the role models in your life and how have they inspired you and helped you become successful? 

My biggest role model is my co worker Jamie. I have been working with with her since I started my career as an ultrasound tech. She taught me so much about ultrasound. I admire her for always guiding me to the right path. 

5.  How does directly interacting with and helping patients affect you?

My patients at USC hospital are amazing cancer fighters and survivors. They give me the strength to continue serving my purpose as a technician. They teach me to never give up and that is something I could never forget. 

6.  What advice would you give a student who is just starting out in ultrasound school?

My advice to students entering the ultrasound program would be to never get discouraged. It can get tough finding a job at the beginning, but the key is to always stay persistent, committed and determined. 

7.  What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

When I'm not working i spend a lot traveling all over the world. It always nice to reward yourself by doing whatever you like when you've accomplished your goals. 

8.  What is one of your favorite memories from your time here at WCUI?

My favorite memories from WCUI involve my classmates. I learned so much from each of them. They were all a lot older than I was, and they taught me so much about life. 

9.  How would your past instructors or coworkers describe you? 

My co workers would describe me as a young, independent, hard working women with a bright future ahead me. 

10.  What is something unique about you or your situation?

Something unique about me would be that I was very blessed to get hired at USC hospital at such a young age. All the other applicants were a lot older and had more experience for the job. I was given a special opportunity to prove that I belonged there and I accomplished that goal. 

11.  What is one of the hardest things about your job?

One of the hardest things in my job would be dealing with cancer patients. You see the patients battle for their lives. Some make it and others don't. It can get tough at times. 

12.  What goals do you have for yourself in the field of ultrasound?

My goal in the ultrasound field would be to become knowledgeable enough to be able to teach others.

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