Donna R. Hendershot is the perfect combination of creative, driven and willing, and she has a very enlightening sense of humor. While some health care professionals enter the field solely because they want to make high incomes, Ms. Hendershot feels differently. With a deep knowledge of the importance of nurses, physicians and other health care professionals in helping people, she has genuine desire to treat patients and educate members of the field, as assisting others has always been rewarding for her. “We, as health care professionals, are crucially needed,” Ms. Hendershot says. “It’s a very rewarding field to be in.”
In order to build the foundation of her successful career, Ms. Hendershot earned an Associate of Arts from Chabot College in 1990 and a medical assistant degree from Everest College, which was then called Bryman College. Impressively, Ms. Hendershot is a registered cardiovascular sonographer, a registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer, a national registered certified medical assistant and a certified cardiovascular technologist. She was formerly employed at a hospital. Despite the unfortunate event that her position was eliminated, Ms. Hendershot continues to consult in the area of cardiac echo services, cardiac care, cardiac education and cardiac diagnostics. She is excited to obtain a new position because she is looking forward to extending her knowledge to others. “While I’m unemployed, the country is missing out,” Ms. Hendershot says. “I want to share all of this knowledge that I have with others.”
An active member within her industry, Ms. Hendershot is a member of the Cardiovascular Credentialing International, American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Inc., and American Society of Echocardiography. She also maintains affiliations with the Western Society of Electroencephalography, Bay Area Society of Echocardiography and Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. She also actively volunteers with the Lupus Foundation of America, Disabled American Veterans and Davis Street Family Resource Center. With a sincere aspiration to give back to the community and help those in need, Ms. Hendershot is also looking to become more involved with organizations dedicated to animal welfare, helping the homeless and preventing domestic violence.
Looking ahead, Ms. Hendershot intends to find a role through which she can continue to directly work with patients and help them, as working with patients has always been very gratifying for her. “I just feel like I’m not complete right now because I’m not working with the patients,” Ms. Hendershot says.
Conversation with Donna R. Hendershot
Worldwide Publishing: On what topic(s) do you consider yourself to be an expert?
Echocardiography, electroencephalography, supervising others, teaching nurses, and giving lectures to the volunteers and senior citizens on cardiac health.
What characteristics help to separate you from your competitors?
I’m down to earth and I’m willing to get my hands dirty. I don’t sit up on a pedestal and tell others what to do. I put myself out there. If people need my help or if they’re overloaded, I get right down in it and I say, “Here, let me help you get caught up.” There was nothing in the department that I couldn’t do.
What motivates you?
Dreams motivate me. For example, I recently cut out a picture from a magazine of Ann-Margret at age 73 sitting on a Harley. I want a Harley, so I have this picture on my fridge to remind me that one day I will have my Harley.
What short-term and long-term career goals are you currently pursuing?
I want to volunteer in nursing homes and continue to engage in public speaking on heart health. I also want to work with organizations that support animals, the homeless and victims of domestic violence. I can see myself being an ambassador for domestic violence because I’ve been so involved in it.
What is the most difficult obstacle or challenge you have faced in pursuit of your goals?
Now, the newest obstacle I’m facing is that my previous position was eliminated, not because of me, but because they just didn’t want my position there anymore. This inhibited by chances of going even farther in the institution.
What is the most significant issue facing your profession today?
The current state of health care and challenges with patients’ insurance policies.
What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your profession?
Being able to help and teach others about heart health is the most rewarding aspect of my profession.
Who have been your mentors or people who have greatly influenced you?
That’s a hard one. I mostly got inspiration on my own. My aggressiveness has allowed me to influence myself.
What lessons have you learned as a professional in your field?
I have only so much power to change things. Whatever is set in stone by administration, I have to follow.
Did you ever consider pursuing a different career path or another profession?
Well, I was a deputy sheriff for four years. Law enforcement is my other passion.
What advice can you offer fellow members or others aspiring to work in your industry?
The health care industry a very rewarding field to be in and the pay is great. But the thing is, if you’re just involved in the industry for the pay, it can get monotonous. I see some nurses that are so bored because they’re only there for that big paycheck.
What are some questions that an individual interested in your services can ask to ensure a more productive relationship?
They can ask, “How long does it take to do the test?” They can also ask me about my credentials, such as where I went to school and for how long.
What is your favorite or least favorite work-related task to do and why?
I don’t have a favorite or least favorite. I just miss taking care of patients.
What changes have you observed in your industry/field since you started?
There has been more equipment design to expedite the diagnostic testing for the patients. Technology in health care has expanded so much. It’s never-ending.
How do you see these changes affecting the future of your industry?
You’ll learn something and then a new piece of equipment will be invented. Health care professionals constantly have to go to school and keep up with new technology.