October 12, 2017

Meet Joanna Murphy in our Diagnostic Medical Sonography program

Meet Joanna Murphy in our Diagnostic Medical Sonography program in the Department of Imaging and Radiation Sciences. She is our featured Student Highlight #UAMSCHP

My name is Joanna Murphy.

I am originally from a little town in Iowa called Algona, but I have lived in Little Rock for the last 3 years.

I have always known that I wanted to work in the health profession. I attempted nursing school but after a few semesters I knew that it wasn’t the right fit. Around the same time my brother and his wife had their 20-week OB ultrasound scan and they showed the pictures to the entire family. As soon as I saw that sonogram I knew what I was supposed to do with my life. There weren’t any sonography programs that I wanted to attend up in Iowa, but I researched the program at UAMS and found that it was one of the top sonography schools in the country. So, with the encouragement of my parents I moved back to Arkansas and enrolled in Pulaski Technical School to take the prerequisite classes that I needed for the UAMS sonography program.

My program at UAMS is 2 years long and the first-year concentrates on general sonography and obstetric sonography, while the second year we choose whether we want to specialize in Vascular Sonography or Echocardiography. I choose echocardiography and I hope to get a job in the hospital or clinical setting scanning hearts. I also am a big believer in the sanctity of life and so it is my dream to volunteer in a pregnancy crisis center that offers free OB ultrasounds to expectant mothers, and I hope I can play some small part in their decision to keep their baby.

The thing I like most about my program is the small class size. Our instructors are able to be there for anything we need help with and they want to see all of us succeed and they will do everything in their power to see that we do.

I am happy to say that I will be graduating May of 2018. After graduation I hope to have a job lined up. I am already getting job experience in my field since I was hired back in June and I hope that with this experience I will be someone that future employers want to hire.

I don’t know if I could pick just one quote or saying that is my favorite but I guess one of my favorites would be “go big or go home”. The ultrasound program at UAMS is not the easiest program to get through, however I am discovering that it is going to be so worth it in the end.

I am not a very exciting person these days, especially with the school and workload that I juggle, so I like to spend my free time hanging out with my family or reading a good book or catching up on a series on Netflix.

I hope that I can be of some influence in my small corner of the world. If, with my skills as a sonographer, I can save one life then I will be very happy.

There have been many people who have influenced my life but I guess the ones who have had the most impact would be my parents. Who they are as people and as a couple is what I want when I grow up. The ones who have had an impact in my chosen career would have to be my teachers. The ones that teach me the book aspect of sonographer and the ones who show it to me in real time, the clinical instructors at all the hospitals I have been lucky enough to learn at. There have been many challenges in the past 4 years and I know I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for the support of my friends and family. They have supported me emotionally and financially while I work to better my life and I couldn’t be more grateful

The sonography program here at UAMS is one of the top schools for sonography. If you are serious and passionate about becoming a sonographer then I highly encourage you to apply. I’m not going to lie, you will learn so much in the two years here but I can tell you with confidence that when you join the workforce you will have to confidence to become a really great sonographer. That is the top goal of our instructors, to teach great sonographers.

What motivates me the most and what I have to cling to, especially in these last few months of school, is the feeling of walking across that stage in front of my family and friends and receiving that diploma. I want my family to be proud of me and so I try my hardest every day to exceed my expectations. I never thought that I would be able to get this far and to have made it here is such a surprise to me. I know now that I have what it takes to make it to the end, and I can’t wait to hear the cheering from my huge family when I get there.