Sonographer Finds Adventure and a Passion for Allied Travel
By Melissa Wirkus Hagstrom, contributor
With over 29 years of sonography experience under her belt, C. Elaine Sherman, RDMS, decided to make a change and set out on a career as an allied healthcare traveler with Club Staffing. That was in 2011, and she’s still going strong.
“I love what I do and I’ve always tried to instill in my sons to pick a career that you have a passion for,” Sherman explained.
Years ago, Sherman was a finance manager in an unsatisfying career. She decided to go back to school to become a sonographer to provide a better life for herself and family. She worked in a variety of sonographer jobs and ultrasound tech positions for over two decades before deciding to travel.
Once her children graduated college and were out of the house, Sherman knew it was time to explore the country and enhance her career as a travel sonographer.
“I made so many sacrifices being a single parent,” she said. “A lot of opportunities would come my way, and some would involve traveling, and I thought to myself, ‘This is my time. Why can’t I be a traveler? I’m flexible, adaptable, I’m smart and personable. I am not afraid to take on a challenge and I like to see the country and travel.’”
Sherman maintains a home base in Pittsburgh, but insists that those possessions are just “stuff” and her true passion is tied to experiences and memories.
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Flexibility to choose locations, extend sonographer jobs
During her five years of working travel jobs with Club Staffing, Sherman has established herself as a favorite employee among the facilities where she works. In fact, her very first contract with Kaiser Permanente in San Diego was extended multiple times, and she’s been back for more long-term assignments since then.
In addition to Southern California, Sherman has traveled to several parts of the country, including an assignment in Albany, Ga., before she headed back to San Diego for another contract with Kaiser. After staying in San Diego for an extended period of time, she decided it was time to move on to new locations and new sonographer jobs.
“I thought, OK, I got in this to travel, so let me travel!”
With her travel bug reignited, Sherman hit the road and secured a contract with the prestigious Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., and then on to Jefferson Radiology in Hartford, Conn. She maximized her time on the East Coast with a lot of exploring and day trips to Potsdam, N.Y., and many notable places around New England.
“I got a chance to go to Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and many other places,” Sherman recalls. “I made friends with another traveler and one day we decided to get in the car and drive to Maine to have a whole Maine lobster for dinner!”
In addition to exploring and going on local adventures, Sherman uses her outgoing personality and social skills to make lifelong friends wherever she travels. She is currently working in Denver, on an assignment at Kaiser-St. Joseph's Maternal-Fetal Medicine Clinic.
When Sherman was first investigating a career in allied travel, she contacted four or five different healthcare staffing agencies, but none were on par with the level of service and quality that Club Staffing was able to provide.
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A strong partnership and friendship with her recruiter
“I called Club Staffing and happened to get Cyndi Stamler, my recruiter,” she said. “If there’s anybody I have to give kudos to, it’s her. She’s sincere, straightforward and we connected. I felt very comfortable with her and knew she would be a perfect fit for me.”
Since that first phone call, Sherman has maintained a strong personal and professional friendship with Stamler, who even opened up her home to Sherman and welcomed her to stay as a guest when she was in town visiting.
“A lot of travelers can’t say that they’ve met their recruiter. But even rarer than that is to have my recruiter be so gracious and have me stay at her home. That makes you feel really, really special.”
“I also got the chance to visit the Club Staffing office and meet people there. And you know what? You could tell that they were so warm and inviting, and they really loved their jobs. And if Cyndi wasn’t around, I knew that I was still going to get the support that I needed as I venture through my traveling career.”
With one son on the East Coast and the other on the West Coast, Sherman truly appreciates the freedom and ample time off that her allied travel career provides.
“It’s all about the friends, family and adventures. Traveling is fun. It keeps me young!”
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