Student Spotlight: Julian Palacios

Published - November 21, 2016

Hear About Our Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program from a Real DMS Student

Julian Palacios may have not always wanted to be a Medical Sonographer, but he’s grateful for choosing his path at CBD College and can’t imagine himself anywhere else.  You might see your peer walking around campus in his gray scrubs, assisting teachers and staff with their day- to- day needs, or in the lab practicing his scanning and coming to the aid of his fellow students.  Here’s what he has to say about his time at CBD as a DMS student so far.

Julian Palacios DMS student
Julian Palacios scanning his fellow classmate’s thyroid

I know you’re one of our work/ study students.  What does that entail?  

I do anything the teachers ask me, so anything from making copies to laying down so somebody can scan me.  Every now and then I’ll help other students with scanning.  Being in work study I feel like I’m exposed to so much more tutoring.  I’ll just be talking to a teacher for 5 minutes, and I’ll end up learning 5 different techniques to scan a kidney.  Everyone’s super friendly here.  I love the staff here, and I like working with them.  You can talk football with Jim and Christian, or you can talk baby showers with Rosa and Dora.  At other schools people can be standoffish, and here if I ask Dora a question, she’ll tell me “You know what, I’m going to find out for you right now.”

Why did you choose CBD College? 

Sometime last summer, I signed up for information and Dora called me.  Dora helped me out, she broke down the program, and she gave me a tour of the class. I talked to Mr. K. (he was talking to me for 30 minutes about the school), I talked to Ms. Cheryl, and I liked it.  I liked the whole feel of the school.  Other schools have really old systems for Ultrasound.  This school really seemed like they had their stuff together.  I immediately felt like this is the place I want to be, so I started around last September.

How did you decide to pursue Diagnostic Medical Sonography? 

I always liked the medical field, pretty much my whole life- I just never knew what I wanted to do.  As I got older, I found out about Medical Imaging.  I started thinking of X-Ray, and then I went into Respiratory Therapy- that just wasn’t for me.  Medical Imaging, especially Ultrasound, is all user dependent, and I like that.  I like that the skills I learn here are put to use to help people.  That’s why everybody’s here, to learn to help people.

Who is your favorite instructor at CBD? 

I can’t say I have a favorite. But, if I had to choose, my “go- to” teacher has to be Mr. K.  I go to him for every question I have.  I like the way he teaches.  He’s very hands-on about everything, his method seems to be that he’ll give you a hint of what you’re looking at, but basically have to use your own knowledge to finish that answer.  You kind of have to work it out yourself.

What is your most difficult class at CBD? 

My current module, Vascular, is by far the hardest.  You have to know the entire flow of the body.  Not only for the lessons, but the actual scanning.  You go from scanning a kidney that’s maybe the size of your hand to a vein that’ only a few millimeters wide.  You move a millimeter out of the way and you’ve lost your entire shot.  You really have to find the technique for it.

What would you tell anyone who is interested in becoming a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer? 

Julian Palacios DMS
Palacios studying the vascular system of his classmate.

You definitely have to put in a lot of time scanning; it’s an acquired skill.  You need to come in early and stay late and just scan.  You’re not going to come into class just knowing how to scan.  You can’t just put the probe down over a body part and know that it’s there.  It takes a lot of technique, patience, a lot of patience, and just skill.  And a good instructor behind you.  Put in the hours and it’ll pay off.

Why would you recommend someone to choose CBD? 

I’ve recommended a couple people, one of my friends actually, and she comes to the night class.  They love it for the same reasons why I attend.  The classes are small so you get a really personalized education.  Every teacher here cares.  They’re here for hours after class just in case you have a question, and even if you don’t, they’re still here.  The best way I can explain it is that every teacher I’ve had here has personalized the lesson, not just for one concept for just me, but for every concept, for every student.

When is your expected graduation date?

I want to say early summer, so June, or pretty much whenever I finish my hours for my clinicals.  My clinicals start in about a month.  Basically we go out to a site and we work for six months.  I’m aiming for a hospital, hopefully USC or UCLA- something like that would be really nice.  You get so much more experience at a hospital; you see everything.  Those places that I mentioned are also places to do research, so you see things that aren’t used in the field yet, so you’re seeing newer advancements.  I want to be on the cutting edge.

Before you go, would you like to give a shout out to anyone? 

Yeah!  My DMS class in Vascular.  They’re all pretty awesome.  Clinicals are coming up, and we can do it.  It’s nerve-wracking.  I’m nervous, but it’s an excited nervous.  You’re going from the teaching environment to the actual, hands-on, “someone’s kidneys are in pain and you need to figure out why they’re in pain.”  But I definitely feel confident going over there.  I feel confident about everything I’ve learned here.


To learn more about CBD College and the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program, or to schedule an appointment, call 213-472-2200 or fill out the form at right!

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