Read about some of our alumni and their interests, career goals, and experiences in the our Programs.
The college offers accelerated hybrid programs to help you earn a degree in less than two years.
We are accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools and we are approved by the California State Approving Agency for Veterans Education (CSAAVE) for students to use their GI Bill education benefits at our Sherman Oaks, CA campus. Our Nashville, TN campus is not currently approved for VA Education Benefits.
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“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait…” (Paulo Coelho) This is Amanda Ramirez. We all go through struggles, some more than others and while we cannot escape challenges, we can choose how to respond to them. And that is exactly what Amanda Ramirez did – she fought back.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a 33-year-old wife and mother of two. Before enrolling in the MRI program here at Casa Loma, I was, believe it or not…homeless. My husband and I lived in Arizona at the time. The job market wasn’t so great at the time and we unfortunately lost our jobs. With that, we lost our home. With no family and no where to go we ended up sleeping, literally, on the streets. After some time, we called his family and they offered a helpful hand and we made our way out her to California. This was our second chance. I enrolled in an online University and completed my Associates in Allied Health. Shortly after graduation, I enrolled in the MRI program. Although it was tough at times, I graduated, and here I am!! A career, a home, and a bright future ahead of me.
Where have you worked since you graduated and where do you currently work? What is your title?
I have had the opportunity to work several locations on a few different field strengths. The locations I have worked (with make and field strengths are): San Fernando Advanced Imaging (SFP) on GE 3.0T and an Aris 0.3T (Open). San Fernando Interventional (SFI) GE 1.5T. Liberty Pacific Advanced Imaging Encino (LPE) GE 1.5T. Liberty Pacific Advanced Imaging Tarzana (LPT) GE 3.0T and GE 1.5T. Northridge Diagnostic Center GE 1.5T (NDC). Lastly, Liberty Pacific Advanced Imaging West Hills (LPW) Philips 3.0T.
I am currently working full-time with three locations, NDC on Saturdays. LPW Tuesday through Friday. SFP on call from Saturdays and Sundays due to inpatients.
What type of things do you do there day to day?
Every day is routine, but very different at the same time. Routine daily tasks consist of stocking patient scrubs, linens, contrast items (Gado, gauze, syringes, alcohol prep pads, etc.). Patient rooms are cleaned and disinfected after every patient. Dusting the scanning room and Tech desk. Screening patients, reviewing patient orders and scheduled appointments, reviewing company emails for updates and alerts, communicating with Rads, etc. The list goes on. Everyday has it’s routine tasks, but everyday is always different.
What do you like about your career?
What do I like about my career? This is a difficult question to answer. I have yet to encounter anything I don’t like. Some days are more challenging than others, but I have no complaints. If I had to narrow it down and be specific, I’d have to say I “love” taking part in the diagnosis of patients. If you think about it, Rads need heroes too 😉. We all, no matter the modality, play a major role in assisting the Rads with identifying cause of patient discomfort. Multiple times I have performed a routine brain scan for headaches, dizziness, sinus pressure, and the patient diagnosis was either malignant/benign neoplasms, and a few times bleeds.
What are your career goals for the future?
Initially my career goals were to establish a solid career and ensure financial security for my family. After working for a few months now, I have seen the many opportunities that lay in wait for Techs in MR. Eventually I want to work towards a lead position in MR. Perhaps one day, work for applications.
What advice can you give current students and new graduates that can help them be successful?
For students: There is no end to your learning. Ask questions, lots of questions. Shadow your clinical supervisor (CS) wherever they go. If they speak to the PSRs, go with. This will help you to learn how to communicate with the receptionists and how to make changes to orders and scheduling purposes. When the CS makes a call to the Rad (if Rad is not an onsite Rad) sit and listen. This will help you with learning to talk to the Rads. IF the CS offers to let you scan, do it. During your clinicals is the time to make mistakes. Your CS is there to teach you and help you to learn from mistakes. Do not assume you know more than the CS. They find this disrespectful and annoying. Lastly, keep your patience. Not all patients are going to be easy to work with. Some are too scared to complete the exam and will just talk. With these patients, they just need someone to listen to them.
New Grads: Congratulations for completing the program! You are now on your way to the start of a rewarding career! Do not wait to apply for the job! If your unsure as to where to start, utilize the career services that Casa Loma offers. Kelly Malone is amazing with assisting in getting you prepared. Stay positive. Do not lose hope if you are not hired immediately. They will call you!
How did Casa Loma College help you get where you are today?
If it wasn’t for Casa Loma and the amazing staff there I would not be where I am today. During certain times of the program I had moments that I wanted to give up and believed I was not cut out to do this. The staff pushed me to be the best I could be and encouraged me every step of the way. With tutoring after hours, to simply friendly smiles and words of encouragement, I pushed and pushed myself. So thank you Casa Loma for all you did and do for all of us!
What was your experience like getting a job after you graduated?
Getting hired after graduation was pretty simple, keep in mind it is going to be different for everyone. Six weeks before my externship ended I was offered a part-time position with my clinical site. I couldn’t “officially” accept the offer at the time. After graduation (November 2019) I returned to the site, formally applied and was hired a few days later (November 14, 2019). For about two months after being hired I trained at all the sites that were mentioned earlier. My third month into working I was called to cover for several techs, while working my position with my “home” site. In doing so I established work relationships with many of the other techs.
Did you use any of the school’s on-campus career services?
At first I did not utilize the career services as I should have. I did keep in touch with them to complete my professional portfolio. Through the grapevine (yes career services and talk through the company) I heard of a location that was hiring for a full-time evening position.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome getting into the program?
The biggest obstacle I had to overcome getting into the program was myself. I tend to over think the decisions that I make. After choosing Casa Loma, I second guessed myself and if this was the right decision for me. As you can see, I over came my obstacle.
What are some highlights from your time at Casa Loma College?
The highlights of Casa Loma are too many to list them all here. The teaching methods of some instructors was pretty entertaining while others were simpler and very much to the book. Some used visual examples, while some used stories. During patient care, IV and CPR we used hands on material, like dummies for transport lessons. The admin staff was amazing! Smiling faces as you entered the door and smiling faces when you finished class for the day. One of my favorite things was Kelly’s white board of riddles and statements. They were always unique and rather interesting.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my loved ones! Working full time and opposite schedules as my husband, the time I have off is spent with him and my little one. And believe it or not, I enjoy reviewing my A&P text along with my physics. I also enjoy researching new MR technology and reading on new research studies they are performing. Aside from MR, I enjoy crafting and baking with my daughter, watching the latest horror movies, and creating/improving new dishes for family meals.
Where do you see yourself five years from now in your career?
Five years from now I see myself and family in our own home. Currently we are living with in-laws during these hard times. I see myself in a lead tech position teaching others brand new to MR. Teaching others to love MR and being the best they can to help others.
What’s the best advise you can give incoming students and students currently in the DMS program?
Just as I mentioned to the students in MR, ask questions, do not shy away from scanning. Be open minded to new techniques and learning from others. Never say no. Your CS is going to be like your guiding light, it is up to you how you travel to the end of the tunnel. Build relationships with all those in other modalities, you will find their knowledge useful. Just as I have with the US techs within the facilities I work. Many patients return due to findings in an US for further evaluation with MRI. We are all a team, we are all striving for the same end results, we all just get there differently.
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