This week we would like to introduce you to Matthew Cox, BS, RDCS. Matthew will be presenting an interesting echo case study with an unusual diagnosis, be sure to check out the case study here!
Matthew is a cardiac sonographer that works at OSF St. Francis in Illinois. The story of how he became a sonographer strikes me as someone who was born to work in this field! He earned his Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, Exercise Science from Illinois State University. During his schooling his internships led him to work in a cardiac rehab lab where he worked with cardiac patients (patient who had stents, heart attack, valve replacement, CABG, transplant, congenital reconstruction, etc). During both Phase I (in-patient cardiac rehab) and Phase II (out-patient cardiac rehab) he worked closely with his patients educating them while administering early and aggressive ambulation to prevent post operation complications. His ultimate goal was to return patients’ to pre-hospital activity or greater while creating trustful and gratifying relationships. Matt was hooked! He had sparked a love of helping cardiac patients!
During his time working in cardiac rehab it was his responsibility to be aware of the patients’ medical history including diagnostic testing. He became fascinated with echocardiography and wanted to learn more! As an avid learner, Matt was not intimidated by the daunting task of cross-training into echocardiography but rather he was excited for the opportunity. Luckily he was surrounded by a supportive team of like-minded individuals that took him under their wing and began the journey of teaching Matt the skills to master echocardiography. And master it ….he did!
Matt earned his RDCS credentials through ARDMS, became a member of the American Society of Echocardiography and even joined his local echo society. He is currently the clinical site instructor for three colleges and remains active in hospital educational activities, presenting education at monthly meetings. What strikes me about Matt is his relentless pursuit of continual learning! He finds many different pathways to continuing his education whether he is learning from his fellows and cardiologists at work over lunch hour lectures, checking out educational YouTube videos, reading blogs (like ours!!) or attending training courses he strives to better himself. His future goals include earning his Fellowship (FASE) through the ASE and obtaining two additional credentials, his pediatric RDCS through ARDMS and his ACS (Advanced Cardiac Sonographer) through CCI.
Outside of work, Matt just got married last month! His parents recently celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary and his brother lives in Ozarks, Missouri with his wife. Why do I tell you this? To make you realize that Matt is just a regular guy, like me and you, that has found a passion for diagnostic medicine. He takes his career seriously to ensure his patients receive the best care and he works hard at advancing himself through education. All of us can learn from this great example of someone who entered the field in a less traditional way after receiving on the job cross-training. There are many different pathways to becoming a cardiac sonographer, the key is to never loose our quest for excellence and to be continual learners in an advancing field.
Judith Buckland, MBA, RDCS, FASE