Trisonics Work Study.
I am currently in the midst of a three month work study program that began in early May. Trisonics has graciously provided me with the opportunity to gain real world experience working with electronics as a means to further my education. As a student at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, in Lancaster Pennsylvania, I have gained a cursory knowledge of the fundamentals of electronics. This knowledge was the requisite foundation for my opportunity to work with Trisonics.
During my second semester of school, there was a job fair in the gymnasium of Stevens Tech. Trisonics had a booth at the job fair. I walked up to the booth and was met by a man named John Steffen and a man named Stuart Latimer. I would later come to find out that Stuart was the president of the company and John was the director of technical services. Both men answered my questions and provided me with insight into how Trisonics operates. They explained that they service ultrasound equipment. This sounded like an interesting prospect and at the same time sounded daunting. Having only been a semester into learning electronics at the time, I was under no delusion that I knew what I was doing. I feigned enough confidence to make it through the introduction and thanked them for their time.
A few months later, Stuart and John were back on campus and this time they brought an ultrasound machine with them. The machine was fancy. They used it to demonstrate its functionality to the class while providing interesting anecdotes about ultrasound in general. The class was aware that they were looking for someone to work over the summer at Trisonics. This awareness was the catalyst for an unusual amount of interest in the presentation. I was among the interested crowd and I had a mandate from my family to get a job for the summer.
Soon after the presentation, I began a correspondence with Stuart in order to gain the opportunity to work for him over the summer. He informed me that the next step would be for me to come and tour the facility. A few weeks later I drove up to Trisonics in Highspire, Pennsylvania. When I walked in I was almost instantly stunned by the amount of ultrasound machines that there were. It seemed like there was a machine sitting on every inch of available floor space. It was intimidating. I thought that it would be impossible for me to even begin learning how to work with all these different machines. John was in the building that day to show me around. He introduced me to Fred Hui who is another technician that works at Trisonics. I left the office feeling reluctant about working there. I knew that I was incapable of any sort of meaningful contribution to the company due to my blatant lack of knowledge. I didn’t want to sign up to work alongside John and Fred if I wasn’t going to actually benefit the company. On the other hand, John did his best to reassure me that it takes a while to learn the systems and that I would be eased into the process. So I decided to commit to working at Trisonics for the summer.
Looking back, I can clearly see that I’ve made significant progress since starting here. I can remember warning John early on that I, “wasn’t very handy,” and I could sense his daily frustration with my lack of knowledge. But he has been exceedingly patient with me. He started me out by working side by side with him on some of the older machines until I was capable of working on them myself. It was a slow education. Next, we worked on newer, more popular machines. I don’t really remember when it happened but eventually I started to do more and more work independently.
Now, I understand much more about ultrasound than I thought I would at this point. There is an entire lexicon of acronyms associated with ultrasound equipment. A typical phrase might go, “does the DSC on that 33 B-cart work with a 262 FEC?” To the laymen, such a phrase would be insurmountable. It absolutely was for me early on. There was a point at which I became capable of deciphering the ultrasound code. I can now participate in conversations that I previously couldn’t have. My coworkers can come to me with questions and I can provide them with useful feedback. I find gratification in being able to help the people that I work with.
The most beneficial aspect of my time here has been the opportunity to work in a professional environment. The people here are career oriented which was an unfamiliar setting for me. All the jobs that I have had before this weren’t places where people considered working there long term. People like working here and it is nice to be surrounded by that type of atmosphere. Working here has shown me how to function professionally and work as part of an organization. I will certainly take a lot of knowledge with me about ultrasound machines, however, learning how to be a part of a professional, goal-oriented workforce is something that I will be able to utilize in the future no matter what I choose to do. My time here at Trisonics will certainly benefit me as I head back into the school year. I am grateful for the opportunity that the people here have provided me with.