TEAMSTER: Cynthia O'Brien
Worksite: Contra Costa Regional Medical Center
Years on the job: 14
Job title: Ultrasound Tech Senior
What that Means: "I think everybody knows the standard baby ultrasounds, which we definitely do, but what a lot of people don't understand is we do the same type of scan on every kind of person because we look at the liver, the gall badder, the spleen, we look at the veins and arteries of the arms and legs, we look at the carotid—so blood going to the head—we look at the reproductive system of both genders. We do babies for all different types of things. So we see all parts of the body and from there we take pictures and we discuss with the radiologist what it is we saw and what we feel is going on. We definitely work with the radiologist to come up with a diagnosis. We are their eyes, so without us they don't know."
Connecting with patients: "There are many, many times where I see where a patient's care got started. They came here for a routine exam and we found something and then I saw them for years to come as they were cured or their process was managed. You absolutely form a bond with patients—and that's a good and bad thing because sometimes it can make you very sad; you hope for the best for your patients. Other times, it can make you very happy to see the outcome go so well and see them head off home."
On a typical day: "When I get here, it's normally very busy. We just scan people all day long and the clientele here is pretty eclectic. You can get a little bit of everything, which is nice as far as my job goes, keeping me not only busy, but interesting because we really see all types of pathology, all types of patients, and all types of exams—so it's very interesting work."
On being a Teamster: "We had literally almost zero representation before with our other union. I wanted someone strong, I wanted a union that was known for its representation. I've been happy ever since we became Teamsters."