Christina Oye, echocardiogram technician at St. Paul Heart Clinic, talks about her job. She discusses why she became a echocardiogram technician, what a typical workday is like, and how her role fits into the bigger healthcare picture.
Q: What's a typical workday like for you?
I work in clinics in St. Paul and Maplewood and at other clinics and hospitals in Minnesota and Wisconsin, transporting equipment to the off-site locations. I do echocardiograms on six to 10 patients a day. In the clinic, I have a new patient every 45 minutes. In the hospital, I go bedside. I look at the heart, its size and function, and at the valves. I also do stress echocardiograms, taking ultrasound pictures before and after a patient uses a treadmill to determine if there is a reduction in blood flow through the heart. And I assist at transesophageal cardiograms, in which the cardiologist manipulates a probe through a patient's esophagus to get a better look at the heart.
Q: How does your role fit into the bigger healthcare picture?
I help the doctors see how the heart's functioning and working with the rest of the body. This can help them decide how to treat patients.
Q: Who do you interact with during the course of the day?
I work with cardiologists, and with nurses and cardiology technicians while they run stress tests. I also work with hospital floor nurses and other nurses during transesophageal tests and other tests. I interact with patients and their families as well.
Q: Why did you become an echocardiogram technician?
I have had echocardiograms done on myself since I was little. I knew that was what I wanted to do since I was a very young age.
Q: What do you like about your work?
I get to meet many different people during the day, people of all ages. I like helping the doctors get one step closer to figuring out what's going on with a patient.