Choosing the right career was never an easy decision for Nicole Ribaudo. She’s explored a number of different career possibilities including beauty, criminal justice, and social work, before finally settling on her dream career in ultrasound. Nicole is now a graduate of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at AIMS Education.
Shortly after graduating high school in 2009, Nicole became a licensed hairdresser. After working in the field for a couple of years, she felt unfulfilled and decided it was time for a change. With the loving support of her parents, she made the decision to go back to school. At first she studied criminal justice at Brookdale Community College, but eventually she realized healthcare was the field she wanted to work in.
Healthcare had never been a field Nicole had seriously considered. In fact, she knew very little about the field or the different career paths until she spoke with another hairdresser who was attending school to become a surgical tech. That was when she learned about all of the career options that exist in healthcare. It was also when she first started to consider ultrasound as a career possibility.
Like most people, Nicole originally thought ultrasound was simply used for scanning babies. It was when she learned that there were so many other uses and specialties in the field that she realized this was the right career for her. She then set out to find the right school for her education. After considering several accredited schools, Nicole eventually decided to enroll at AIMS.
"After my first visit to AIMS I knew it was the school I wanted to attend. Everyone was so friendly and they didn’t push me to make any decisions until I was ready."
Balancing between work and school posed quite a challenge for Nicole. She was completely new to the healthcare field, so she was basically starting her education from scratch. This forced her to dedicate a lot of time for studying. Initially, she struggled to find enough time to study. After adjusting her work schedule to allow her to focus more on school, however, she was able to find a much better balance.
"My experience at AIMS was amazing."
Nicole really embraced her classmates and instructors while at AIMS. She appreciated the fact that her instructors would go out of their way to assist her and other students. In particular, she was extremely grateful for the knowledge and skills she learned from Ms. Vora and Dr. Patel. During her time at AIMS she was able to develop her scanning ability and build up her confidence.
Practical training is one of the most important aspects of any educational program. For Nicole, the clinical internship portion of her sonography program was even more rewarding than she had expected. She felt that the training and preparation she received at AIMS really gave her a leg up on the other students at her clinical site. She was placed at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton, NJ. She found the technicians extremely helpful and always willing to offer guidance and assistance.
Since graduating from AIMS, Nicole has been hired by Robert Wood Johnson as a per diem ultrasound technician. She was also able to sit for and pass the ARDMS Abdomen specialty exam less than a month after graduation. This allowed her to earn the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonography (RDMS) credential. Her next goal is to find a full-time position, and then eventually sit for the other registry exams offered by ARMDS.