Andrea Hanson '21

Major: Health Sciences, Diagnostic Medical Sonography Emphasis
Minor: Spanish 

What made you choose this major?

I chose this major because it combined my interests of healthcare, photography, and engineering. In high school, I job shadowed both radiology and ultrasound. I preferred ultrasound because the department interacted with patients more and they took their time perfecting their images. I added a Spanish minor because I enjoyed taking it in high school and it’s an important skill to have in the healthcare setting with a growing Hispanic/Latino population. I want to be an advocate for the Hispanic/Latino community because they deserve quality healthcare. Lastly, I wanted to emphasize in cardiac ultrasound because my grandparents had a history of heart problems and I want to be able to prevent these heart problems from escalating into something more serious.

What is your career objective?

My career objective is to work in a hospital in a Hispanic/Latino community so that I can utilize my Spanish skills. I also want to participate in traveling clinics such as Hearts in Motion or Global Medical Brigades while I am employed as a Bilingual Echocardiographer because I went on the Global Brigade trip to Panama through Carroll this year and I loved it. I want to continue to share my skills and knowledge with others outside of my community through programs like these.

How has what you’ve learned prepared you for your future?  

I’ve learned a lot about cardiac pathologies in my nursing and cardiac physiology classes and I’ve learned how to perfect my Spanish speaking, comprehension, and writing skills through Carroll. I have also learned how to be more culturally sensitive through my cross-cultural courses. Learning cultural sensitivity will help me in the future because I’ll be able to establish professional relationships with my coworkers and gain trust from my patients. My knowledge of cardiac and vascular pathologies will allow me to detect diseases in early stages, helping patients receive proper treatment.

What opportunities have you had to work closely with a faculty member and what impact has that had on your education? 

I have worked closely with my two Spanish professors, Dr. Boll and Prof. De Costa, for three years by taking their Spanish courses and cross-cultural courses. I was able to travel to Seville, Spain, with Dr. Boll for my Cross-Cultural Experience which impacted me as an individual because I got out of my comfort zone living with a host family. I was able to use my Spanish for two weeks and I overcame obstacles in communicating when the vocabulary and pronunciation was different, improving my confidence in my Spanish communication abilities. With Prof. De Costa, I did a lot of volunteering at the United Community Center, St. Joseph’s Clinic, and Blair Elementary School to help with interpreting. This helped me establish relationships with other people in a clinic setting and a school setting with a wide range of age groups. Both professors inspired my goals of becoming a health care provider serving the Hispanic/Latino community.

What is the most memorable experience you’ve had in your education at Carroll?

My most memorable experiences were the talk-abroad sessions and when I documented my volunteering at the United Community Center, St. Joseph’s Clinic, and Blair Elementary. Talk-abroad is a program where you schedule an appointment online to talk to a native Spanish speaker about an assigned topic. Through both assignments, I built confidence in my Spanish speaking skills while talking to native speakers. Although I made grammatical errors when speaking with people, they were patient with me as I tried explaining my thoughts in different ways.

How has Carroll enriched your growth as a person?

I was involved in Habitat for Humanity, Global Medical Brigades, SALUD, and the Carroll Swim and Dive team for three years. This allowed me to connect with different people within and outside of my community when I volunteered through these organizations. I learned new home improvement skills through Habitat for Humanity each time I volunteered with them.  Through Global Brigades and SALUD, I was able to practice my Spanish and CNA skills. Through the swim team, I built many friendships and I was able to stay physically and mentally healthy during the school year. It was a great way for me to decrease stress, focus more on my studies, and have fun. When the swim season ended, I participated in intramural activities such as Zumba and Yoga to keep in great physical and mental health.

If you were recommending your major to a prospective student, what would you tell them?

You have to be dedicated to this major, persevere through the obstacles of becoming a CNA, and never give up on yourself even when it gets difficult. I’m in my fourth year now and I’m doing my internship/clinicals through Aurora St. Luke’s. While it’s a bit more difficult to balance my social and academic life, the sacrifices are more than worth it. This program gives you a lot of opportunities to explore and serve other communities in different hospitals, but you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone when it comes to things like traveling all around south-eastern Wisconsin to get to different clinical sites.

How has financial aid made a difference in your life?

I’ve received several helpful scholarships during my time at Carroll. These have helped me lower the cost I have to pay for my education overall. Every little bit has helped, especially in terms of paying for groceries, books, and room and board.

What’s your favorite place to study on campus?

When I lived on campus, I felt like I concentrated best in my dorm room because it was quiet and had less distractions. If I wanted to, though, I could play music and not bother anyone else. I also utilized the learning commons for tutor sessions which helped a lot over the years.

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