Name: Karl Hofmeister
Hometown: Fayetteville, NC
Degree: Cardiac Ultrasound Certificate
What inspired you to become a cardiac ultrasound technician?
With many of my family members working in the medical field I always held a goal of pursuing it myself but wasn't sure what would be the best option for me. When I first found out that Duke was starting a program for cardiac ultrasound I was unfamiliar with the roles and responsibilities it held in healthcare. I reached out to our instructor, Richard Palma, to learn more about the program and he took the time to call me personally and explain the profession. Hearing how positively he spoke about the impact you have on patient care by performing echocardiograms along with the depth of knowledge you obtain in cardiac anatomy and physiology made me sure this was something I'd love doing.
Where do you hope to practice? What are you going to focus on?
I've recently been extended the opportunity to work in the cardiac diagnostic unit at Duke University Hospital which is where I'll begin my career as a sonographer. My clinical instructors provided an amazing experience for me throughout the program by continuously challenging me to practice at a high standard. I really value the emphasis that Duke places on teaching and fostering a learning environment for medical professionals to succeed. I hope to provide the same experience that I had for future students that come to Duke and I'm very excited to remain associated with the program I trained at.
What is your favorite memory from the program?
Meeting our faculty the first day of arriving at Duke is far and away my favorite memory. Hearing the excitement everyone had for the start of a new program made me realize I was becoming a part of something special. I immediately knew that I'd be learning from a passionate group of educators that would make our learning a priority which really made coming in to the hospital an exciting experience everyday. On multiple occasions instructors in our program went out of their way to provide us with unique opportunities by exposing us to an array of procedures and topics that many students don't get to cover.
How do you hope to impact patient care and/or research in your career?
I hope to have a positive impact on patient care by recognizing that healthcare is a continuous learning experience. Although my official training is nearing an end, I know that working in an academic environment will push me to be constantly improving the quality of exams I perform. Once I reach the point of being an instructor myself I hope develop the careers of future sonographers to practice at a high standard of patient care as well.
What about your experience as a student during COVID-19 will you carry through to your career?
It made me realize that the ability to learn in the clinical setting is a valuable experience that shouldn't be taken for granted. I was nervous before joining the program that our chance to learn in person could be effected by the pandemic and alter the clinical rotations that make up the bulk of our learning. However, our faculty put a great effort into making sure that we were always able to learn safely during clinicals which I'm very grateful for.