Written by Judith Buckland, MBA, RDCS, FASE

Educator Spotlight: Jessica Hooley, ACS, RCS

This week we connected with Jessica Hooley, ACS, RCS. Jessica is an advanced cardiac sonographer and she was kind enough to provide us with some real life examples of aortic stenosis mismatch values in this weeks blog.

If you haven’t read the blog yet be sure to check it out. Jessica provides tips and knowledge on why we sometimes have discordance with our aortic stenosis measurements (velocity, pressure gradients and valve area).

As always, we want you to feel connected with our guest writers and learn a little about their background and education. Enjoy this weeks spotlight interview.

How did your healthcare career start?

I grew up in a home where both my parents were nurses, so I became very comfortable with dinner conversation centered around patients that coded and what they had to clean up that day! When I was 18, my mom set me up with a tour of the radiology department at Mayo Rochester, so I decided to give it a try being I had no real direction in my career path at that time.

During the radiology program, I did a rotation in echo and vascular ultrasound. When I went through the echo rotation, I knew that I was supposed to do cardiac ultrasound!

What made you decide to specialize in cardiac ultrasound?

Cardiac ultrasound is fascinating to me. Every time you step into a room, you really have no idea what you’re going to see or find. The heart is a complex organ and challenging to scan at times. There are so many different pathologies that require identifying abnormalities and recognizing how these disease processes affect the heart. It is the challenge that keeps me wanting to do the job. It is a job where you are always learning as well, and I love that! I have never stopped learning in this career and I’m sure I will never know it all, so I will continue to learn from those around me!

How did you transition to ultrasound?

After finishing the radiology program, I went straight into the echocardiography program at Mayo and started my two-year journey of intense learning and training from there. I completely loved it and learned so much from the physicians and sonographers. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have been able to get my education there and worked for over 10 years learning with the physicians in such a unique setting. 

Tell us how you got involved with your teaching career

I had such a great mentor during school, however I did not really recognize or appreciate that until I moved away from Rochester and started working at a different hospital. Seeing the need to help other sonographers learn not just the measurements, but the physiology behind that, is what makes a good sonographer great.

I work at an organization where I now do the accreditation for 3 hospital as well as the education for the sonographers. It has had its challenges, but as I am learning to teach, I really enjoy that look on someone’s face when it clicks, and they then understand why we do somethings the way we do.

Example of a teaching moment

I recently did some education for a sonographer who works at a cardiology clinic and when I taught her a new view she had never learned (para-apical) for TR, she was amazed. It was part of my protocol for so many years, so I had not realized until moving that most people do not do this. She later sent me a message and said she hardly ever misses TR now and that’s her new favorite view.

Additional Education

I recently graduated from Grand Canyon University with my Bachelor’s degree and am going to start working on my masters. This last year I studies and took the advanced cardiac sonographer boards, while they were hard, I think it will help me in my desire to teach and spread education to more sonographers.

Something about you

Jessia Hooley with her husband and daughter

I have been married 15 years to a wonderful man that puts up with my craziness and we have a 12 year old daughter who is so very sweet (teenage years are coming! Eek). We are enjoying this time of our lives and appreciate each day. I think that working in the healthcare field and hospital makes you realize how short life can be. It reminds me to take hold of each moment, enjoy it and go for it!

Conclusion

Thank you Jessica for sharing your background with us. I can tell how your solid foundation of learning at the Mayo Clinic instilled a love of not just learning but also for teaching and mentoring. We look forward to your blog article this week!

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