Faces of Armstrong: Skyla Harden

Photo of Skyla Harden

Photo of Skyla Harden

For Senior Diagnostic and Therapeutic Science major, Skyla Harden, studying sonography feels like a perfect fit. She’d originally begun her post-secondary education with the intention of becoming a Psychologist.

The program itself is highly competitive. Out of over 60 applicants, Harden was one of 20 to earn a spot. It was her good academic performance and volunteer experience which helped her stand out.

“The biggest challenge has been the cost. The uniforms to the school supplies. The textbooks are $1,400 in total,” Harden explained over Zoom. “And that’s not even including the money we spend traveling to different rotations and paying for housing.”

At the time of the interview, Harden was enjoying her day off from her current medical rotation in Chattanooga, TN. Usually, she’d spend the day outside at Ruby Falls or Lookout Mountain. Instead, she was on Zoom with me and preparing for a day of meetings.

“Every day I can see myself getting better and more comfortable with it— I like speaking to patients and performing the exams, so I think I made a good decision.”

The practice is technique-based. One technician could see no kidney stones while the other could see five. It all depends on the pressure one applies.

“I like the fact that it is noninvasive. It doesn’t expose me to ionized radiation,” she continued. “It’s very useful in a lot of different situations like pregnancies and looking at arteries and vessels.”

Harden plans to complete her second Registry this month and begin working soon after. She plans to begin as an abdominal sonographer and will complete Registries for Vascular and OB down the line.

Harden’s journey is one of many a student can take throughout their time at Armstrong. For more information about sonography, please visit: https://www.sdms.org/resources/what-is-sonography/understanding-sonography