Student Spotlight: Joel Hillman

Joel Hillman

Joel Hillman
Major: Sonography

From the time he graduated high school in 2002, Joel Hillman saw his future in the medical field.

He started with a Radiologic Technology program at an area community college, became an X-ray technician and worked at a hospital. But he wanted more.

“I wanted more patient contact, more patient care, I wanted to be able to sit and talk to my patients and help diagnose," he said. "So I asked our radiologists who helps them out the most and unanimously every radiologist was saying the ultrasound tech by far is the most important as far as technical support that they get.”

In 2006, Hillman entered College of DuPage’s Diagnostic Medical Imaging Sonography program, also known as ultrasound. He graduated in 2007 and had multiple job offers, opting to work as an ultrasound technician at two hospitals that are now part of Cadence Health. Soon another opportunity surfaced, and Hillman became clinical instructor for the ultrasound students who came to one of the hospitals as part of their training. Hillman also reconnected with the coordinator of the Sonography program at College of DuPage, who asked him to come back to the program as a part-time instructor.

“Healthcare is not for everybody, but if you enjoy the healthcare profession, I feel like ultrasound is a great fit,” says Hillman, who recently added another job to his resume as a new father. “I get to meet 15 patients in a day and get to sit and actually talk with them and do their test. I get to see a wide array of people, all the way from veterans who were there on D-Day to people who are having their first child.

"When looking for a school to attend, COD is not only a safe bet but a great bet. It offers all the amenities of a large school with a great small school feel."

More about the Sonography program